A special CBI court in Panchkula on Thursday sentenced rapist godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and three others to life in jail for the murder of a journalist over 16 years ago.
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief, who is already serving 20 years in jail for raping two of his female followers, was convicted with three others last Friday. He had appeared before the court through video conferencing. CBI lawyer HPS Verma said, “All four have been sentenced to life imprisonment.”
The CBI court also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 against all four convicts each.
On Friday last week, CBI Court judge Jagdeep Singh had convicted the four men for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati in 2002. Last year, Gurmeet Singh’s supporters had caused a large-scale violence across Haryana and Punjab, leaving many dead after the High Court sentenced the rapist baba to 20 years in jail.
Keeping the last year’s violence in mind, authorities had made elaborate security arrangements on Thursday, ahead of his sentencing. Strict vigil was being kept near the court complex in Sector 1 of Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh. Security, according to news agency IANS, were tightened in Sirsa town, where the controversial godman has his headquarters based.
The murdered journalist, Chhatrapati, was the editor of a newspaper in Sirsa, when he was shot five times on 24 October, 2002. He died a month later in a hospital in Delhi. His son Anshul had demanded capital punishment for the rapist and now murderer baba.
Reacting to Thursday’s sentencing, Anshul said, “This is the triumph of truth, I feel relieved today. Prosecution had demanded capital punishment but we’re satisfied with the punishment.”