Gurmeet Ram Rahim of Dera Sacha Sauda and four others have been sentenced to life in jail for the murder of Ranjit Singh

NEW DELHI: The special CBI court in Panchkula on Monday sentenced Dera founder Gurmeet Ram Rahim and four others to life in prison, nearly 19 years after the murder of former Dera Sacha Sauda’s Manager, Ranjit Singh. On October 8, the court found the Dera Head and others guilty.

Avtar Singh, Jasbir Singh, Krishan Lal and Sabdil Singh are the other defendants in the case. Inder Sain, one of the defendants, died during the trial in 2020. The court fined the dera leader Rs. 31 lakh, Sabdil Rs. 1.50 lakh, Jasbir and Krishan Rs. 1.25 lakh apiece, and Avtar Rs. 75,000. The victim’s family will receive half of the fine.

The dera leader, who has been held in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail since his 2017 conviction for raping two of his students, appeared in court through video conferencing, while the other four were present in person.

Ranjit Singh, a former dera manager and a sect devotee, was assassinated in 2002. He was assassinated for his alleged role in the distribution of an anonymous letter detailing how the dera chief sexually mistreated women.

According to the CBI charge sheet, the dera chief suspected Ranjit Singh of being behind the anonymous letter’s distribution and plotted his assassination.

He was also sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Ram Chander Chhatrapati, a journalist, more than two years ago.

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