Dera chief conviction: Killed whistleblower's son awaits justice
Sirsa: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh might have been convicted for raping two 'Sadhvis' of his ashram, but the son of journalist Ramchandra Chatrapati who was killed for raising voice against the 'rapist Baba' is still waiting for justice.
Ramchandra was the whistleblower into the matter that has led to the conviction of the self-proclaimed spiritual leader. He had published the news claiming that the Dera chief had raped two women. Soon after making the revelation, which proved out to be true 15 years later in 2017, he was shot dead, and his son Anshul Chatrapati is yet to get justice.
Anshul says, "My father was a lawyer-turned-journalist who worked for various media organisations. The media houses, however, did not allow him to write freely and after getting fed up of it, he launched his own newspaper 'Poora Sach'. He published the news of the rape of two women of Dera Sacha Sauda on his newspaper, and also conveyed a letter of the victims to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee."
In a few days after publishing the news, Ramchandra was shot at outside his residence. "My father was brought to the hospital with severe injuries and after 28 days of treatment, he passed away," Anshul said, adding, "After publishing the news, my father was targeted several times and was threatened as well."
Later on October 14, 2002, two unidentified gunmen killed his father with five gun shots.
Sharing his plight, Anshul said, "At the time his father was killed, he was just 21 and when police refused to include the name of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the FIR, he could not understand where to go now for justice."
Anshul says police even did not register a written statement of his father which he gave while being in the hospital. Soon we filed a petition demanding a CBI probe into the matter. In 2014, Central Bureau of Investigation was ordered to take over the case, an order which was challenged by Dera Sacha Sauda.
Anshul asserts that Dera chief also pressurised him to take the case back but we did not fear of his threats. "Baba is a criminal in disguise of a saint," he says.
It is worth mentioning that the murder case has also reached in its final phase at the same Panchkula-based Special CBI court, which held the Baba guilty of rape. The court will award sentence to the rapist Baba on Monday.