CHANDIGARH: chief has moved an application before the Special CBI court in Panchkula and submitted a list of seven new witnesses, including bureaucrats, doctors and journalists, in connection with the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh murder case.

This is second such application filed by Dera chief. Earlier, he had submitted list of 20 witnesses.

CBI counsel HPS Verma said the court has summoned these witnesses on September 5. The CBI will also cross-examine these witnesses, Verma added.

The list of witnesses, which was assessed by the Times of India, reveals that Dera chief wants to highlight community work like free eye checkup camp in Sirsa in December 2001, and houses handed over to quake affected people in Rajkot in 2001. To corroborate these community work, the dera chief submitted lists of bureaucrats, doctors and journalists.

Dera chief submits before the court that directions should be issued to these witnesses to record their statement in the case.

On Dera chief’s application, Special CBI judge Singh has issued summons to these witnesses for September 5.

Recently, the CBI court rejected the defence application of re-summoning prosecution witnesses, including Chhatrapati’s son Aridaman, in the murder case.

According to the CBI charge-sheet, Dera manager Krishan Lal had given his licenced revolver and a walkie-talkie of the Dera to two shooters in the presence of dera chief. Thereafter, both the accused fired at Chhatarpati in front of his house on October 24, 2002. He died three weeks later. Chhatarpati had been writing against the Dera chief in his newspaper ‘Poora Sach’.

Whereas, in the Ranjit murder case, the CBI had submitted that Ranjit had reportedly developed differences with the Sirsa Dera head after the allegations of rape of sadhvis surfaced. He was shot dead near his fields in Khanpur Kolian village of on July 10, 2002. The Dera head had allegedly ordered his murder. Besides Ram Rahim, the other accused in the case are Avtar Singh, Inder , dera manager Krishan Lal and shooters Jasbir Singh and Sabdil Singh.
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