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Posted at: Jul 13, 2018, 12:02 AM; last updated: Jul 13, 2018, 12:02 AM (IST)CHHATRAPATI MURDER

Dera chief submits list of 20 new witnesses

Names bureaucrats, journalists, RPF & CBI officials

Rajinder S Nagarkoti

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, July 12

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has moved an application before the Special CBI Court here and submitted a list of 20 new witnesses, including bureaucrats, journalists and CBI officials, in connection with the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Dera chief submits before the court that directions should be issued to these witnesses to record their statement in the case.

On dera chief’s application, Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh has issued summons to 16 witnesses for July 18.

CBI counsel HPS Verma said they would examine these witnesses on July 18.

The new witnesses include editor of a Ludhiana-based Hindi daily, editor of a national English daily and its Ludhiana reporter and an RPF official to prove that a complaint had been lodged against prosecution witness Khatta Singh in connection with coal mafia. The related news was published in January this year by these newspapers. Besides, names of a reporter and record keeper of Jalandhar-based Punjabi newspaper was submitted to prove that ‘satsang’ was held at Zira in Punjab on October 23, 2002, and dera chief was present there.

In addition to this, the list also includes the names of IAS officers who were posted in Kutch and Bhuj in Gujarat, Barmer and Ganganagar in Rajasthan in 2001 and 2002, to prove that commendation certificates given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for the humanitarian work done by him in different areas.

Dera chief has also submitted the name of Arvind Jaitely, a CBI Inspector, but court has not summoned him.

Recently, the CBI court rejected the defence application of re-summoning prosecution witnesses, including Chhatrapati’s son Aridaman, in the murder case.

According to the CBI charge-sheet, dera manager Krishan Lal had given his licenced revolver and a walkie-talkie of the dera to two shooters in the presence of dera chief. Thereafter, both the accused fired at Chhatarpati in front of his house on October 24, 2002. He died three weeks later. Chhatarpati had been writing against the dera chief in his newspaper ‘Poora Sach’.

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