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Journalist who exposed Dera Sacha Sauda chief was shot outside his house 15 years ago

The anonymous letter was addressed to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and other institution heads like Chief Juctice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Photograph: (Twitter)

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 25, 2017, 01.36 PM (IST)

Violent protests erupted in India's northern states of Punjab and Haryana, which later spread to Delhi, Noida and other parts of western Uttar Pradesh, after the guilty verdict against Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim, head of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect. Ram Rahim was found guilty of raping two sadhvis or female renunciates. This is literally vindication for Ram Chander Chhatrapati, Sirsa (Haryana) based regional journalist, who was shot at point-blank range 15 years ago for exposing the Dera chief's murky deeds right outside his house.

Chhatrapati published an anonymous letter in his independent newspaper 'Poora Sachh' (The Complete Truth). The letter addressed to then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee disclosed the details of Gurmeet Ram Rahim's dirty deeds and allegations of rape and sexual exploitation of women followers.

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He was killed on October 24, 2002, only a few months after the three-page letter was published. Chhatrapati's son, Anshul, who was 21 at time of his father's murder, has been fighting for justice for the past 15 years. As the rape cases against Ram Rahim were being heard in the Special CBI Court on Thursday, the murder case of Ram Chander Chhatrapati was also being heard in the same court.

Ram Rahim encountered the rage of Sikh radicals in the past when he dressed up in attire similar to the 10th Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, in 2007.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court took the anonymous letter published in Chhatrapati's newspaper into consideration and directed then district and sessions judge in Sirsa to order a probe into the matter. Justice was served today to the rape victims who first raised their voices. Justice is awaited for Anshul's father.

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