Murder of Ram Chander Chhatrapati
Ram Chander Chhatrapati (Hindi: राम चंदर छत्रपति, died 21 November 2002) was an Indian journalist who was murdered in 2002. Chhatrapati ran a local Hindi-language evening daily Poora Sach (Hindi: पूरा सच "whole truth") in Sirsa, Haryana. Chhatrapati was the journalist who published the anonymous letter accusing Dera Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan of rape, of which he would later be found guilty. On the night of 24 October, two men riding a motorcycle shot Chhatrapati at point-blank range outside his residence. The journalist succumbed to his injuries four weeks later. Insan was convicted for his role in the murder on 11 January 2019 and was awarded life imprisonment by Special CBI Court on January 17, 2019.
Investigation into murder
Two local carpenters Nirmal Singh and Kuldeep Singh were arrested for the shooting and cited on the First Information Report (FIR) by the local police. The men reportedly worked at the Dera headed by Insan. Three months after the killing of Ram Chander Chhatrapati, in January 2003, his son, and successor as proprietor of the local newspaper Anshul Chhatrapati petitioned the High Court for a CBI investigation into Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, which nine months later was accepted by the High Court in November.
In July 2007 the CBI filed a charge sheet against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan. The conclusion of evidence presentation was made in November 2014, along with a related case related to the murder of Ranjit Singh, a former manager at the Dera. The primary accused Nirmal Singh was granted bail January 2017, 14 years after he was arrested. The other man on the motorbike, Kuldeep Singh. had already been bailed shortly after initial arrest. The review of the murder case reached final arguments in the same CBI special court at Panchkula that found the Dera chief guilty of rape on 25 August 2017.
- "Journalist murder case: Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, 3 others awarded life term". The Times of India. 17 January 2019.
- The States November 2002 "The death, on November 21, of Ram Chandra Chatrapati, the 53-year-old editor of Poora Sach (Complete Truth), an evening daily from Sirsa, Haryana, at the Apollo Hospital in New Delhi went largely unnoticed by the mainstream media. On the night of October 24, two men riding a motorcycle, claiming to be followers of a religious sect called Dera Sacha Sauda, had shot at him four times from point-blank range."
- B. K. Chum Behind Closed Doors: Politics of Punjab, Haryana and the Emergency 2013 9381398623 "... some of the Deras have also been charged with committing criminal offences. For instance, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh faced trial in the CBI special court for the murder of one Ranjit Singh and a journalist, Ram Chander Chhatrapati, in 2002."
- The Tribune (India): 14 yrs on, Chhatrapati murder accused granted bail by HC Chandigarh, 5 January "More than 14 years after he was arrested in Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati murder case, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has granted bail to accused Nirmal Singh. In his petition against the CBI, Nirmal was seeking bail in the case registered on December 9, 2003, for murder and other offences."
- Hindustan Times 25 August 2017 Journo who ‘exposed rapes in Dera’ was killed: Case at the final stage in the same court "The journalist was shot from point-blank range at his residence on October 24, 2002, months after the paper published an anonymous letter narrating how women finding solace in the Dera as sadhvis were sexually harassed and raped by the Dera chief."