Court rejects bail plea of dera chief Ram Rahim
Says no ground is made out for enlarging him on bail
CBI Special Magistrate, Haryana, Kapil Rathi, here on Thursday dismissed the bail application of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the case involving the castration of his male followers.
The judge said, “Considering the nature and gravity of the accusations levelled against Ram Rahim and the alleged role played by him, no ground is made out for enlarging the applicant/accused on bail.”
He also reasoned that charges had been framed against him “for having committed the substantive offences punishable under Sections 326 (for voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), 417 (for cheating) and 506 (for criminal intimidation) of the IPC”, and the case was at the initial stage of prosecution evidence to be led on the behalf of the CBI and the material witnesses were yet to be examined in this case.
Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the judge added that “we should not be understood to mean that bail should be granted in every case”.
The order also said that the case of Ram Rahim “cannot be stated to be on parity with the other co-accused”.
The other two accused in the case are Dr MP Singh and Dr Pankaj Garg. While Dr MP Singh had been granted interim bail on medical grounds, Dr Garg had been granted anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and was admitted to regular bail in terms of the order dated May 16 of the high court.
It has been alleged in the case that on the asking of Ram Rahim, Dr Pankaj Garg and Dr MP Singh allegedly performed surgeries and castrated various devotees in the year 1999-2000.
The CBI registered the FIR on January 7, 2015, and filed the charge-sheet on February 1. The court took the cognisance on February 12.
On December 23, 2014, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the charges of forced castration inside the dera after a petition by former Dera follower Hans Raj Chauhan in 2012.
The petitioner had alleged that around 400 male followers, including those from Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan, were castrated at the dera chief’s behest. The charge-sheet claimed that mass castrations took place at the dera’s old printing press building in Sirsa and two charity hospitals — Shah Satnamji Speciality Hospital in Sirsa and Shah Satnamji General Hospital at Ram Rahim’s ancestral Gurusar Modia village in Rajasthan.
The CBI submitted that the dera chief made his victims sign a general power of attorney authorising his protégés to purchase/gift land in the followers’ name. Later, the property was gifted to the dera. There are six victims and 58 witnesses in the case.
Ram Rahim was sentenced to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 30 lakh for raping two women followers last year. Two murder cases are also pending against him.
Did the court make the right decision?
Congress: No international market at Gannaur yet
On second day of his cycle yatra, state Congress president Ashok Tanwar on Wednesday reached Gohana after covering more than a dozen villages of the Gannaur Assembly constituency.
Tanwar alleged that state ministers enjoyed foreign jaunts for four years in the name of setting up of an international market at Gannaur. The market was to be set up within a year and farmers, labourers and businessmen of the area were to benefit from it, but nothing had been done in the past four years, he alleged.
Charging the BJP government of adopting step-motherly treatment with Sonepat, Tanwar said that the UPA government had approved the proposal to set up a rail coach factory at Gohana and in the last four years, the project just remained on paper. “The BJP has not spared people of the area from patronising illegal mining in the Yamuna. There was a talk of running ships in the river, but deep mining has left big pits where children have drowned,” he said.
Is Haryana lag behind in development?
Mayawati to address INLD’s Gohana meet
To allay rumours that the INLD-BSP alliance in Haryana may not last long, Leader of the Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala visited BSP supremo Mayawati’s place in New Delhi on Wednesday. She tied “rakhi” to Abhay.
Abhay met Mayawati to invite her for the INLD’s “Samman Diwas” rally in Gohana on September 25 to celebrate the birth anniversary of former Deputy Prime Minister Devi Lal.
“She accepted my invitation and also invited me to her house for Rakshabandhan on August 26. Since I will be away on Sunday, I requested her to tie rakhi today,” Chautala said after his meeting with Mayawati.
He hit out at the Congress and the BJP for spreading rumours that the INLD-BSP alliance would not last long. “On September 25, Mayawati will address a public meeting with INLD leaders and give a befitting reply to those spreading canards about the alliance,” Abhay said.
Ever since the INLD entered into an alliance with the BSP in April, Congress and BJP leaders have been claiming that the pact would not last till next year’s Assembly elections.
The ongoing parleys between the Congress and the BSP for a possible alliance at the national level are being cited to substantiate rumours that the INLD-BSP pact will break up before the elections.
“Ours is no more a ‘gathbandhan’ (alliance). Our tie-up has assumed the character of Rakshabandan – a tie between a brother and a sister where one comes to the rescue of the other in the time of need,” Abhay added.
Will this coalition win in Haryana?
Haryana Jat group to hold protests again
Jats are on a warpath yet again in Haryana with the state government “failing to fulfil” their demands, including dropping of police cases against members of the community, by the August 16 deadline set by the All-India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti (AIJASS).
The AIJASS led by Yashpal Malik has now decided to protest at public functions of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu in nine districts having a concentration of the community and gradually extend it to six other districts.
The AIJASS wants reservation, withdrawal of cases registered against members of its community during the 2016 agitation, and jobs to seven “martyrs” who died sitting at the dharnas during the course of the agitation.
“The BJP at the Centre and state has betrayed us. Despite sufficient warnings and time to meet our demands already accepted in previous rounds of talks, they have let the August 16 deadline lapse. If they understand the language of protests, we are ready,” Malik told.
The All-India Jat Arakshan Sangharsh Samiti has decided to initially “target” functions of the two top state BJP leaders in the Jat belt of Rohtak, Panipat, Sonepat, Hisar, Kaithal, Jind, Dadri, Jhajjar and Bhiwani.
“These protests will be held only if these two leaders address programmes in the hinterland and will be managed by our local teams. We will keep out of the cities for the time being,” said Malik. The rural belt has essentially been chosen by the AIJASS to show its strength and display its following.
Sources said the CM’s next public programme, a roadshow, to be held in Kaithal on August 25-26 had been put off in view of the protest call. He is now slated to attend a programme on August 25 in Dabwali.
CM’s media adviser Rajiv Jain said the Kaithal roadshow was cancelled on account of the “asthi kalash yatra” of late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Had it been because of Jat protest, the Dabwali rally should also have been called off. Dabwali, incidentally, is among the six districts of Karnal, Kurukshetra, Palwal, Sirsa, Fathehabad and Rewari where the protests will be extended by the end of next month only.
Police in districts with Jat concentration have been put on alert and their preparedness to deal with protests is being reviewed.
Will Jat reservation be successful this time?
Khattar sanctions Rs238 crore for improvement of roads
Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has approved over Rs 238 crore for the improvement of 73 roads in the state.
While stating this, Public Works (Building and Roads) Minister Rao Narbir Singh said the improvement of these roads would be carried out under NABARD Rural Infrastructure Development Fund.
He said Rs 373.75 lakh had been approved for the improvement of Badyal to Nimbwala link road in Panchkula district.
In Yamunanagar district, while Rs 90.65 lakh has been approved for the improvement of Jagadhri workshop road, Rs 27.03 lakh for the improvement of Chhachhrauli-Paonta to Rayanwala road, Rs 300.25 lakh for the improvement of road from Tajewala to Headwork, Rs 822.17 lakh for the improvement and widening of Jagadhri-Bari-Pabni road, Rs 932.63 lakh for the Buria-Khadri-Deodhar road, Rs 479.12 lakh for the Jagadhri-Buria-Deodhar road and Rs 90.58 lakh for the widening of Yamunanagar bypass to Ratauli road.
In Ambala district, Rs 64.95 lakh has been approved for the improvement of link road from Ambala-Baraula to Tharwa, whereas Rs 103.66 lakh has been approved for the improvement of Bara to Babaheri road, Rs 61.48 lakh for the improvement of link road from Ambala Cantt to Bara to Tharwa road, Rs 57.18 lakh for the improvement of Dhanauri to Chorpur road, Rs 125.92 lakh for the improvement of Dakheri to Chudiyali road, Rs 34.50 lakh for the improvement of link road from MSN road to Jagouli to Sainipura, Rs 44.86 lakh for the improvement of link road from Ambala-Hisar to Muzaffia, Rs 84.21 lakh for the improvement of road from Jansua to Punjab border, Rs 84.34 lakh for the improvement of road from Kalwar to Punjab border, Rs 53.87 lakh for the improvement of Jaitpura to Chhapra road, Rs 127.06 lakh for the improvement of road from Malaur to Tiwana border, Rs 104.66 lakh for the improvement of road from Kurchanpur to Punjab border, Rs 279.76 lakh for the improvement of Bhurangpur to Khanna Majra road and Rs 74.11 lakh for the improvement of Ambala-Hisar link road to Ballana to Punjab border, he added.