Panchkula (Haryana), Sep 18 (IANS) Final arguments in a murder case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others continued on Monday with the statements of 59 witnesses being read out in the CBI special court here.
The hearing in the murder case of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh, killed allegedly by close aides and followers of the sect chief in July 2003, will continue on Tuesday.
Held amid tight security, the sect chief took part in the proceedings through video conferencing from the Rohtak District Jail, where he is lodged following his conviction and sentencing in two cases of raping female disciples.
Tight security arrangements, including para-military forces and Haryana Police personnel, were deployed in Panchkula town, especially around the court complex in Sector 1.
The disgraced sect chief is facing trial along with seven others in two separate murder cases – of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who had written articles critical of him and the Dera’s former manager Ranjit Singh, who was believed to be privy to a number of wrong things going on inside the sect headquarters.
Final arguments in the Chhatrapati murder case will be held on September 22.
Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 and died in November, after battling for life in a hospital for a few days.
The sect chief is an accused in both murder cases, along with other accused, as these were carried out allegedly at his behest.
The same CBI special court had, on August 25, convicted Ram Rahim on two counts of rape of his female disciples and on August 28, sentenced him to 20 years rigorous imprisonment.
Ram Rahim’s conviction had led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.
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