The special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula, which will be pronouncing the verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim later today, is also hearing a murder case.

Hearing in the murder case of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati is in the final stage in the special CBI court. Chhatrapati, who ran a local daily Poora Sach, was the journalist who exposed the rapes of two women at Dera headquarters in Sirsa 15 years ago.

Months after Chhatrapati published an anonymous letter giving details about how women were sexually harassed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at Sirsa ashram, he was shot from point-blank range right outside his house on October 24, 2002.

Journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati. (File Photo)

Chhatrapati’s son Anshul has been battling a lonely battle to get justice for his father. So far he has been unlucky.

The anonymous letter published by Chhatrapati in his newspaper was addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and heads of several other institutions including the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The three-page letter in Hindi explained in detail the ‘deeds’ of Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The letter, which appeared to have been written by a woman follower of Baba Ram Rahim, narrated how the Dera chief sexually exploited his women followers at the sprawling Sirsa ashram.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court took note of the letter and directed the then district and sessions judge in Sirsa to order a probe into the matter.

The judge then recommended the probe by a central agency following which the high court asked the CBI to look into the matter.

The Chandigarh unit of CBI registered a case on December 12, 2002, under Section 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insult to the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and launched an investigation.



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