Hearing in Ram Rahim murder case to continue on Monday

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The hearing of the two separate murder cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and others will be continued on Monday, court sources said.

The sect chief's counsel S.K. Garg told media that the hearing of the Ranjit Singh murder case will be held on Monday (September 18) and journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case will be held on September 22.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim

Meanwhile, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's former driver approached the CBI court to record his fresh statement in connection with two murder cases against Dera chief.

Khatta Singh, Ram Rahim's former driver, had recorded his statement as a witness in murder cases in 2007. However, out of fear he later turned hostile in 2012.

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He moved an application in the CBI special court, urging it to re-record his statement.

Khatta Singh said,"I was scared that they would kill me and my son, we were threatened."

Khatta's lawyer, Navkiran Singh, said: "Khatta Singh has agreed to appear before the court. He has filed an application. The court will decide on September 22 if his statement will be taken."

SK Narwana, Ram Rahim's lawyer, said arguments to continue on Monday in Ranjit Singh murder case.

The trial against Gurmeet Ram Rahim in the two murder cases has begun before a CBI special court. Ram Rahim Singh,50, appeared before the Panchakula CBI court through video conferencing from the Rohtak jail where is lodged after being sentenced to 20 years in prison in two rape cases.

The CBI court is hearing the cases of murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and former Dera manager Ranjit Singh.

Contingents of paramilitary troops and the Haryana Police have been deployed in Panchkula as security arrangements were tightened ahead of the hearing.

Sirsa-based journalist Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002 after the evening newspaper 'Poora Sach', owned by him, published an anonymous letter narrating how women were allegedly being sexually exploited by the sect head at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. He died later.

The second case relates to the murder of former Dera manager Ranjit Singh who was allegedly shot dead in 2002. He was murdered for his suspected role in the circulation of the anonymous letter, which had made the sexual exploitation allegations, according to the prosecution.

(With agency inputs)

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