CBI judge adjourns case against Dera chief to Dec 1

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Ambala, Nov 17 (UNI) The Special CBI Judge R.K. Saini today adjourned the hearing of the case against Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to December 1.

The Dera chief, facing cases of murder and rape, reached the court here this morning and stayed for about 45 minutes when arguments between the defence and the CBI were held. After hearing both the sides, the Judge fixed the date for next hearing.

As the proceeding of the court started today for framing of charges against the Dera Chief on the basis of the chargesheet filed by the CBI on July 31 last, his counsel demanded more time to study the chargesheet.

But the plea of the defence was opposed by the CBI lawyer arguing that the defence was deliberately indulging in delaying tactics and had demanded date of long duration.

He urged the court to fix an early date for early decision of the case after framing of the charges against the Dera chief.

The CBI in its chargesheet had alleged that the Dera chief was guilty of involvement in the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati and former dera manager Ranjit Singh besides a rape case of a sadhvi of the dera.

The Dera chief had attended the court personally for the third time today under tight security provided by the district administration.

After the hearing, he went to HUDA Colony grounds where thousands of his followers were camping since last night. He addressed them for a few minutes and left the town with a convoy of vehicles.

The district administration had tken stringent security measures on directions from the Punjab government apparently in view of the Intelligence Agencies, reports of threats from Canada-based militant groups presumably Babbar Khalsa International and Khalistan Commando Force who have reportedly despatched its members to eliminate the Dera chief.

Nearly 700 policemen were deployed on security duty in and around the court complex since yesterday who were being supervised by five gazetted police officers besides more than 80 inspectors and other ranks. Bomb squad and dog squad were also pressed into service.

The intelligence reports had indicated that the cadres of the extremist groups had mixed with the Sacha Sauda followers and might strike on the available opportunity.

Security arrangements were tightened around the court complex.

The entry to the complex was restricted only to those persons who were allowed to seek entry after extensive search.

Even the lawyers, mediapersons and followers of the Dera chief were refused entry. The Dera chief had arrived in the city last night with a fleet of cars and other vehicles.

The house where the Dera chief stayed for the night was under tight security since yesterday.


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