Panchkula court drops charges of sedition against 19 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda for violence in the city

As many as 239 cases had been registered by the Panchkula police in different police stations in connection with the violence that broke out after Ram Rahim was convicted last year.

Published: 19th July 2018 05:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2018 05:57 PM   |  A+A-

Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: In a major embarrassment to the Haryana Government and Haryana Police the court in Panchkula today dropped sedition charges against 19 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda in connection with last year's violence and arson in which more than 35 people killed and around 300 people were injured.

The charges of sedition have been dropped by Rajan Walia Additional Session and District Judge of Panchkula against Chamkaur Singh, Pawan Insan and Surinder Dhima who were considered close aids of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

This development is not unexpected as the state government had not approved suspects' trial for sedition. This is the second case of violence against dera supporters in which these charges have been dropped.

Earlier on April 30, this year Panchkula District and Sessions Judge Ritu Tagore had acquitted six followers of the dera on charges of rioting charges. The court was critical of the prosecution for not having proved the charges as they had not even been identified.

Those acquitted are Hoshiyar Singh from Kaithal district, Ram Kishan from Karnal, Ravi Kumar from Muktsar district and Sanga Singh, Gyani Ram and Tarsem from Sangrur district. In February this year, a court in Panchkula had dropped sedition charges against 53 Dera followers in another case related to the violence.

As many as 239 cases had been registered by the Panchkula police in different police stations in connection with the violence that broke out after Ram Rahim was convicted last year.

Last year in August there was major violence in several parts of the Punjab and Haryana, especially in Panchkula, after Dera Chief Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of having raped two of his lady followers. He is s currently lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak.

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