Sacha Sauda chief appears before court through video-conferencing

June 6th, 2009 - 11:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambala (Haryana), June 6 (IANS) Controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who faces trial in two murder cases, Saturday appeared before a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in this Haryana city through video-conferencing.
The sect chief sat in the premises of the district and sessions court in Sirsa town, 250 km from here.

The video-conferencing proceedings were held in-camera by the court and lasted for over three hours. The cases have now been posted for next hearings in July and August.

In the last few months, the sect chief had been appearing before the court here under unprecedented security. The district administration and police had sought that his cases be transferred to Sirsa since his coming here meant a major security concern for police.

Also the local administration had to deal with thousands of his followers who came here in his support every time.

The sect chief is one of the main accused in two murder conspiracies.

He is an accused in the conspiracy behind the murder of a sect follower and his former manager, Ranjit Singh, in July 2002. Singh was murdered by sect activists, allegedly at the behest of their chief.

He is also an accused in the murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati in November 2001 after the latter wrote about shady activities inside the sect headquarters near Sirsa.

The sect chief has also been accused by a former female follower (sadhvi) of raping her more than once inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town.

The CBI, which is probing all three charges against him, filed its charge sheet before the court here last year.

The sect management has denied all these charges so far.

The sect chief, despite the serious charges against him, enjoys Z-category security from the Haryana police and moves around in a fleet of bulletproof Toyota Lexus’s even for his court appearances.

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