It was journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who had exposed the rapes in Dera 15 years ago and was shot dead from point blank range at his residence on October 24, 2002.
New Delhi, Aug 25: The son of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati is waiting for the justice for the murder of his father even though the limelight is on CBI court’s judgment in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh . It was journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati who had exposed the rapes in Dera 15 years ago and was shot dead from point blank range at his residence on October 24, 2002. Click here to catch the live news updates of the verdict.
In January 2005, his son Anshul filed a petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a CBI inquiry. “I was 21 then, and did not know where to go for justice after the police did not include the name of the Dera chief in the FIR,” Anshul told Hindustan Times . About the supervision of the CCTV cameras that he had installed at his residence, he said, “There is a verdict tomorrow in the case that my father had exposed!”
Chhatrapati ran a local daily Poora Sacch. He was shot a few months after Chhatrapati published an anonymous letter narrating how women were being sexually harassed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. The three-page letter, written by a former sadhvi, was addressed to the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court and others, accusing Dera chief of sexually assaulting them. They also demanded an inquiry into the matter.
The letter explained the deeds of Dera chief and he sexually exploited his women followers at the sprawling Sirsa ashram on account of ‘purity’. The Punjab and Haryana High Court then directed district and sessions judge in Sirsa to order a probe into the matter.
The CBI, Chandigarh unit, then registered a case under Section 376 (rape), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 509 (insult to the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and launched an investigation.