HomeStatesInfamous Dera chief Ram Rahim acquitted in murder case, decision came before voting in Punjab

Infamous Dera chief Ram Rahim acquitted in murder case, decision came before voting in Punjab

Infamous Dera chief Ram Rahim acquitted in murder case, decision came before voting in Punjab

Hash#ag News Bureau, 28 May,2024

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda based in Sirsa, Haryana, was acquitted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday, May 28, in the 2002 murder case of Ranjit Singh. Ram Rahim, infamous for his criminal convictions, was found guilty of sexual assault in 2017 and was also convicted for his involvement in the murder of journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati from Sirsa. Additionally, he is facing trial for allegedly ordering the forced castration of 400 of his followers. Despite his acquittal in the Ranjit Singh murder case, this decision is unlikely to erase his notorious reputation unless it is leveraged politically in the upcoming Punjab elections on June 1, when voting for all 13 Lok Sabha seats in the state will take place. Sirsa is located on the Haryana-Punjab border.

The appeal was heard by a bench of Justices Sureshwar Thakur and Lalit Batra, who considered the case filed by Ram Rahim Singh, along with Jasbir Singh, Sabadil Singh, Krishan Lal, and Avtar Singh, challenging the conviction by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court related to the murder of Dera manager Ranjit Singh. The court accepted their appeal.

In 2021, a CBI court convicted Ram Rahim and four others in the murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Ranjit Singh had distributed a pamphlet and photo in the camp regarding exploitation of women by Ram Rahim. That pamphlet was published by journalist Ramchandra Chhatrapati in his newspaper. The special court had held that it had been proved beyond any doubt that the Dera chief was distressed by the distribution of that pamphlet. He along with other accused had conspired to murder Ranjit Singh. The 56-year-old Dera chief had challenged this sentence in the High Court. Four other people convicted by the CBI court have also been acquitted.

The Haryana government has shown leniency towards Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who has connections with many leaders of the Haryana BJP. These connections extend to Punjab as well, with numerous BJP leaders, MLAs, and MPs frequently visiting Ram Rahim’s camp in Sirsa for blessings. This close relationship is why the Haryana government has repeatedly granted him parole. In February 2024, the Punjab and Haryana High Court raised concerns about the frequent paroles granted to the rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Ram Rahim was given a 50-day parole in January, marking his seventh parole in approximately 10 months and his ninth in the past four years. He received a 30-day parole during the Haryana Municipal Corporation elections in June 2022, and another 40-day parole in October 2022, just before the by-election for Haryana’s Adampur seat.

Whenever Ram Rahim was out on parole, he was often seen conducting satsangs or blessing BJP leaders. In February 2024, the Haryana government under Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar provided Ram Rahim with Z-plus security, citing threats to his life from Khalistan supporters. Ram Rahim has a significant following in the Malwa region of Punjab.


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