M A I N   N E W S

34 Dera Sacha Sauda followers get 3-year jail term for rioting
Kulwinder Sandhu
Tribune News Service

Moga, September 22
A Moga court today sentenced 34 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda to three years in prison for arson, rioting and damaging public property in 2010.

District and Sessions Judge Karamjit Singh imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on them. They all were released by the court on bail after they furnished bonds of Rs 25,000 each, as desired by the court, and deposited the fine amount as per the provisions of the law. They now have one month to appeal against their conviction in the high court, failing which they would have to go to jail.

Tightened security in Moga

Agya Pal Singh, one of the dera followers, was acquitted by the court on Friday in the absence of concrete evidence of his involvement in the rioting and torching of buses. Another dera follower died during the course of trial.

Hundreds of Dera Sacha Sauda followers had gone on a rampage in Punjab on February 27, 2010, torching buses and burning trains after the CBI registered an FIR against dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on charges of murder, criminal conspiracy and destruction of evidence. Moga was one of the worst affected towns in the state.

A criminal case was registered against 36 followers under sections 307, 427, 436, 124-A, 186, 149 of the IPC and sections 25, 27, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act in the Moga (city) police station.

As per the case file, sub-inspectors Kikkar Singh and Subash Chander, who were previously posted in this district, had recognised the dera followers and testified their involvement in rioting and arson in 2010. Besides the policemen, 26 persons, including 16 government employees, had recorded evidence against them. 





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