Witness turns hostile in Chhatrapati murder case

CBI drops Dera follower as witness after he backtracked his statement

During a resumed hearing in the Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case, in which Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim is the main accused, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has dropped a follower of Dera as a witness.

Gobhi Ram had earlier given a statement to the CBI that the accused in the case used to be in touch with each other on walkie-talkies inside the Dera in Sirsa. The other accused in the case are Krishan Lal, former Dera manager, and Nirmal and Kuldeep, who are relatives.

Dera has permission from the central government for the use of walkie-talkies.

But today Gobhi Ram backtracked before CBI Special Judge A S Narang. So the CBI dropped him as a witness.

Chhatrapati was killed on October 23, 2002, allegedly by Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep, who used to work as carpenters. On October 26, 2002, Nirmal Singh was arrested with the pistol and seven live cartridges. Four bullets were allegedly fired at Chhatrapati from the pistol recovered from the possession of Nirmal Singh.

According to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim had ordered the killing of Chhatrapati for publishing news about illegal activities in Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa. The CBI also alleged that a scooter and pistol were provided to Nirmal and Kuldeep by Krishan Lal. The pistol is registered in the name of Lal.

Another witness, Dr J S Maheshwari, also deposed before the court in the case. He had declared that Chhatrapati was fit to give his statement to the police. According to Chhatrapati's son, his father had given his statement to the police that he was shot at the behest of Ram Rahim. But Sub Inspector Ram Chander, who was noting down the statement, allegedly did not mention allegations against Ram Rahim.

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