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Posted at: Aug 26, 2017, 6:03 PM; last updated: Aug 26, 2017, 6:03 PM (IST)

Men behind the conviction

CBI officer Dagar didn’t miss a single hearing in the case

Bhartesh Singh Thakur

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 25

Satish Dagar, ASP, now posted with the Delhi CBI, did not miss a single hearing from 2008 to 2013 when the prosecution closed down its evidence. He was present throughout the deposition of all 15 witnesses. As a result, none of them turned hostile.

On November 18, 2004, he was entrusted with the investigation of the case. Inspector RK Khajuria assisted him. The case was registered on December 12, 2002, on the instructions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. SS Sandhu, then DSP, was the first investigating officer of the case. 

Later, M Narayanan, then DIG, Special Crime, New Delhi, became chief investigator but it was Dagar who gathered evidence. He was the one who got recorded the statement of the first rape victim before the magistrate. It was on his instructions that Inspector Khajuria went to Fatehabad and recorded the statement of the second victim and her husband.

How case was cracked?

Initially, there was only an anonymous letter on sexual exploitation, alleging that after two years of becoming a sadhvi, the victim was called by Ram Rahim to his gufa  where he was watching a blue film. She was raped by him. Dagar approached Inder Sain, manager of the dera, who provided him a list of sadhvis residing at the dera. But he also sought a list of sadhvis who had left the dera by 2002. There were 24 such sadhvis of whom three couldn’t be traced. The CBI then zeroed in on 18 sadhvis, who were examined. Some of them stated that the dera head, management and followers were dangerous and that they apprehended danger to their life if they revealed the truth. During investigations, Dagar learnt that sadhvis were put on guard duty at the gufa gate which opened into the girls’ hostel. Dagar inspected the old dera and the gufa.

Harassment by dera man

On September 20, 2005, Krishan Lal, a top dera functionary, filed a criminal complaint against him and DSP Armandeep Singh at Ambala for “assaulting” him. (He was an accused in the Ranjit Singh and Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder cases). They were summoned by an Ambala court on July 6, 2006. Both had to seek bail.  Finally, on December 10, 2012, case proceedings were quashed by the High Court. 

Role of prosecutor

“I was sure of conviction,” said, Special Public Prosecutor HPS Verma, 50. He said once while returning to Patiala from the Ambala CBI court, a vehicle carrying dera followers hit his car at Rajpura’s traffic junction. “ I informed the Patiala police about it. But I never got any security,” he said.

He started practice in 1991 at the Patiala district courts. In 2001, he was associated with the CBI in the Jaswant Singh Khalra murder case. In 2007, the rape case against 

Ram Rahim was handed over to him. “When I visited the Ambala CBI court, a lawyer, a follower of dera, threatened to kill me,” he said.This, of course, did not deter him from working on the case. 

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