Panchkula court acquits six Dera activists

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Panchkula (Haryana), July 30 (IANS) In yet another blow to Haryana Police investigation, a court in Panchkula town on Monday acquitted six more activists of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect for the large-scale violence in the town following conviction of the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in two rape cases on August 25 last year.

In May this year, another six activists of the sect were acquitted of charges of rioting by a local court, which cited lack of evidence.

The court had also dropped the sedition charge against the 19 sect activists, including three key aides of the sect chief earlier this month.

These close aides against whom sedition charges were dropped are Pawan Insan, Surinder Dhiman and Chamkaur Singh.

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This is the third time that the Haryana Police is facing a setback in its investigation into the Panchkula violence.

Several activists of the sect were booked by the state police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and being involved in a conspiracy to help the Dera chief escape after his conviction by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25 on two counts of rape of female disciples in 1999.

Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment with a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.

His rape conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 41 people dead and over 260 injured.

A few of the closest aides of the disgraced sect chief, including Honeypreet, Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan, were booked by the police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and criminal conspiracy.

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