Ram Rahim not to be brought to Panchkula for sentencing: DGP

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Gurmeet Ram Rahim
Gurmeet Ram Rahim

Chandigarh : After Dera followers indulged in large-scale violence on Friday following their leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction in a rape case, the Haryana Police on Saturday said the jailed godman will not be brought to Panchkula for the sentencing on Monday.

CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh while convicting the Dera chief in the 2002 rape case and sexual exploitation of two female disciples, said the quantum of punishment for the 50-year-old sect leader would be handed out on August 28.

Ram Rahim was flown in a helicopter, specially arranged by the Haryana government, to Rohtak. He is lodged in the District Jail at Sanoria, about 10 km from Rohtak.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) B.S. Sandhu told the media here on Saturday that the sect chief would not be brought back to the Panchkula court over security concerns.

"The sentencing will either be done through video conferencing or, if required, the court will be held there (Rohtak prison)," the DGP said, adding that the judge (Jagdeep Singh) will be taken there.

Haryana Chief Secretary D.S. Dhesi denied that the convicted godman was being provided VIP treatment by the state and the police in prison.

The DGP and Chief Secretary, however, could not explain why a woman, said to be the sect chief's daughter, was allowed to board the helicopter used to transfer the godman to the prison after he was taken into custody.

Panchkula town, adjoining here, where the CBI court announced the verdict, bore the brunt of violence unleashed by thousands of Dera supporters on Friday and resembled a war zone with a trail of 29 deaths, burnt vehicles and properties worth crores damaged or torched.