SIT nominates Sirsa dera chief Ram Rahim as key accused in Bargari case


A week after the polling of the Punjab assembly elections, the special investigation team (SIT), probing the 2015 sacrilege incidents, had nominated Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim as accused in the Bargari sacrilege and derogatory posters’ cases, revealed supplementary chargesheets.

Interestingly, on the day of the polling (February 20), then chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi had claimed that his political rivals — AAP, SAD and BJP — were taking the help of the Sirsa dera, which has a considerable following in Punjab.

The supplementary chargesheets were filed in the court of judicial magistrate Tarjani in FIR 117 (registered after derogatory posters were put up at Bargari on September 24, 2015, night) and FIR 128 (registered after torn pages of a “bir” were found scattered near Bargari gurdwara on October 12, 2015) at Bajakhana police station, on March 7, which has been now supplied to the other accused dera followers. A perusal of the document shows that Ram Rahim was nominated an accused on February 27. Ram Rahim has been nominated as the main conspirator in the case.

The judicial magistrate issued production warrants (to appear through video-conferencing) of accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim for May 4 for supplying him the copies of challan. His nomination as accused came to light after the supplementary chargesheet were supplied to other accused on Thursday.

Earlier, Ram Rahim’s production warrants issued for his physical appearance in Faridkot court were stayed by the Punjab and Haryana high court considering law and order situation and asked the SIT to question him at the Sunaria jail in Rohtak after which SIT had visited the jail and interrogated him on two occasions in November and December.

The SIT led by inspector general of police (IGP) Surinder Pal Singh Parmar probe found that the conspiracy of desecration of Sikh scriptures was hatched at the administrative block of Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa and that the followers never acted without the permission of sect head Ram Rahim. While SIT is pushing for his custodial interrogation, IGP Parmar said that Ram Rahim has been nominated as accused in the remaining two sacrilege cases as they all are interlinked cases and now SIT will attach this with an ongoing writ petition in the high court to secure his custody.

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