A special CBI court is expected to pronounce the quantum of punishment for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others in a murder case. They were convicted on October 8 for the murder of Ram Rahim’s former manager Ranjit Singh in 2002.
The security measure has been taken in view of August 2017 violence when 36 people were killed following Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case.
While the CBI sought death sentence for the Dera chief at last hearing, Ram Rahim pleaded for mercy via video conference from Rohtak jail, where he is serving a 20-year term for raping two followers.
Ram Rahim highlighted social works done by the sect like blood donation camps, eye check-up camps, tree plantation drives and assistance at various places during natural calamities. He also cited his health problems, including blood pressure, eye and kidney ailments while pleading for mercy.
The CBI, meanwhile, opposed Dera chief’s plea saying the victim treated him as God and the accused committed offences against him. The agency also said he had criminal antecedents and committed offence in a cold-blooded manner without provocation. It has demanded the “maximum punishment” under the IPC Section 302.
Ranjit Singh, who was also a follower of the sect, was shot dead in 2002.
He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of an anonymous letter, which narrated how women were being sexually exploited by the Dera head.
According to the CBI charge sheet, the Dera chief believed that Ranjit Singh was behind the circulation of the anonymous letter and hatched a conspiracy to kill him.
The other convicted in the murder case of Ranjit Singh are Krishan Lal, Jasbir Singh, Avtar Singh and Sabdil.