Dera members acquitted of murder charges

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 15:30

Mumbai: Citing lack of evidence, a fast
track court has acquitted 14 volunteers of Dera Sacha Sauda, a
religious cult, who were charged with killing a Sikh in firing
at suburban Mall three years ago.

The main accused, Jagdev Singh Gurudev Singh, was among
those who were acquitted by Sewri Sessions Court Judge N P
Dalvi yesterday for lack of evidence after being given the
benefit of doubt.

According to forensic reports produced in the court, the
bullets in the victim`s body did not match with the gun
allegedly used by the accused.

Defence lawyers Sudeep Pasbola and Sandeep Singh argued
that prosecution had not proved the case as the bullets in the
victim`s body did not match with the weapons allegedly used in
the crime. Hence, no case was made out against the accused.

Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam submitted that during the
visit of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh
on June 25, 2008, his personal bodyguards had allegedly fired
at a crowd at Nirmal Lifestyle mall in suburban Mulund in
which Balkar Singh, a Sikh, was killed.

The incident occurred when the Dera chief had gone to
visit the shopping complex where members of the Sikh community
were also present. An altercation broke out between the two
groups. The Sikhs had protested against the Dera chief?s
presence and hurled stones at him, prompting the other group
to open fire.

The firing had led to large-scale protests by the local
Sikh community.

Later, the accused were arrested and charged with
offences under IPC, Arms Act and Bombay Police Act.

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh has a
running feud with the Sikhs after he waded into a controversy
in 2007 when, attired as Sikh Panth`s 10th Guru --Guru Gobind
Singh-- he served nectar to his disciples.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - 15:30

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