A Faridkot court on Friday granted bail to jailed Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in two 2015 sacrilege cases wherein derogatory posters were put up at Bargari and torn pages of a ‘bir’ were found scattered near a gurdwara.
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With this, Ram Rahim has secured bail in all three politically sensitive cases connected with the 2015 Bargari sacrilege incidents, which had triggered a massive protest in Punjab, resulting in the killing of two Sikh protesters in police firing.
The dera head is lodged in Sunaria jail in Haryana’s Rohtak town since August 25, 2017, after he was awarded a 20-year jail term for the rape of two followers.
The Punjab Police special investigation team (SIT), probing the 2015 sacrilege incidents, had named Ram Rahim as the main conspirator in the Bargari sacrilege and derogatory posters case.
In March, the SIT filed chargesheets against the dera head in both cases. After production warrants were issued, Ram Rahim appeared before the trial court at Faridkot for the first time in connection with 2015 sacrilege cases via video-conference on May 4.
During his appearance, Ram Rahim’s counsel moved three applications seeking bail in FIR 63 (registered after a ‘bir’ was stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village on June 2, 2015), FIR 117 (registered after derogatory posters were put up at Bargari on September 24, 2015) and FIR 128 (registered after torn pages of a ‘bir’ were found scattered near Bargari gurdwara on October 12, 2015) at the Bajakhana police station.
The court had granted bail to Ram Rahim in the ‘bir’ theft case the same day.
The court of Faridkot chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Monika Lamba said in the order that the accused is granted the concession of bail, subject to furnishing bail bonds of ₹50,000 with one surety in the like amount in each case separately. After the bail bonds were furnished, the court issued the released warrants.
In July 2020, Ram Rahim was named an accused in the ‘bir’ theft case and a supplementary chargesheet was filed against him weeks before the assembly elections on January 27.
Later, the SIT named the dera head as the main accused in the derogatory posters and Bargari sacrilege cases on February 27 and supplementary chargesheets were filed in both cases on March 7.
Recently, during the hearing on the dera head’s plea seeking exemption from personnel appearance, the high court had ordered the trial court to continue the trial against Ram Rahim in three sacrilege cases through video-conference. Now, the dera head will again appear before the trial court through video conferencing on May 16.