Journalist’s killing: Former driver records statement against Ram Rahim

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Panchkula (Haryana), May 5 (IANS) A former driver of convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Saturday recorded his statement against the sect chief in a special CBI court here in connection with the murder of a journalist in Haryana’s Sirsa town in October 2002.

Khatta Singh had recently moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to get his statement recorded.

His statement was recorded in the CBI court for over two hours.

He had earlier given a statement in favour of the sect chief in the murder case of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.

Later, Khatta Singh said that he did it under “threat and pressure” from the sect chief.

Khatta Singh, who used to drive the sect chief’s car and was considered close to him, told the court that Ram Rahim had ordered the killing of the journalist allegedly by the functionaries of sect.

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Ram Rahim is lodged in the Sunaria jail near Rohtak following his conviction in two rape cases on August 25 last year. The CBI court had convicted Ram Rahim on two counts of rape of his female disciples.

Ram Rahim’s conviction had led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 41 people dead and over 260 injured.

He was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment by the CBI court on August 28.

Chhatrapati was shot at in October 2002. He died in November, after battling for life in a hospital for a few days. The sect chief is facing another murder case involving former Dera manager Ranjit Singh.

Ranjit, who was believed to be privy to a number of wrongdoing inside the sect headquarters, was shot dead in July 2003.

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