30082017-TTC-01.qxd 8/30/2017 1:10 AM Page 1 13 established in 1881 wednesday,august 30, 2017 chandigarh | gurugram | jalandhar | bathinda | jammu | srinagar | www.tribuneindia.com | vol. 1 no. 134 | 24 pages | ~4.50 | regd. no. chd/0006/2015-2017 /thetribunechd /thetribunechd Rampal acquitted in 2 cases Hisar dera chief to stay in jail as 5 more 2014 violence cases still on Deepender Deswal FACES MURDER CHARGE Tribune News Service SPORTING HEROES HONOURED Devendra Jhajharia (above, left) on Tuesday became the first para athlete to receive India’s highest sporting honour — Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. He received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind along with Sardar Singh, 31, who became the second hockey player to get the prestigious award on the National Sports Day. Cricketing star Harmanpreet Kaur (left) was conferred with the Arjuna Award. TRIBUNE PHOTOS: MANAS RANJAN BHUI REPORT ON PAGE 18 Hisar, August 29 A local court today acquitted controversial dera chief Rampal and seven others in two criminal cases of wrongful confinement and obstructing public servants from performing their duties registered in 2014. Rampal will, however, stay in jail as five more cases related to the 2014 Satlok Ashram violence are sub-judice. The court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Mukesh Kumar held the accused not guilty after the prosecution failed to prove the charges. “The witnesses, mostly policemen, who deposed in court were unable to prove the charges,” said Rampal’s counsel AP Singh. “We closely examined the chargesheet and cross-examined the witnesses in the two cases registered at the Barwala police station on November 17 and 18 in 2014. It’s a victory of truth,” he said after emerging from the court. Rampal, who heads Satlok Ashram in Hisar’s Barwala town, and others have been acquitted of rioting, unlawful assembly, obstructing public servants from performing their duties and wrongful confinement charge. He, however, still faces serious charges like murder, waging war and conspiracy in five more cases surrounding the 2014 ashram siege. The HC had earlier issued non-bailable warrants against him in a 2006 murder case. HARYANA TO CHALLENGE VERDICT The Haryana Government will file an appeal in the district court against the acquittal of Rampal and other accused, said district attorney Rajender Kumar. The next hearing in one of the five cases still being heard by the court is due on September 18. The others acquitted are Virender, Ramphal, Purshotam Dass, Raj Kapoor, Baljeet, Mahender and Rajender. The accused were facing charges under Sections 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the IPC. Earlier, Rampal, lodged in Central Jail No. 2, appeared for the hearing via video-conferencing after the court was shifted to Central Jail No. 1 over security concerns. Rampal is still facing charges under Sections 302 (murder), 121 (waging war, attempting/abetting to wage war against the Government of India), 121A (conspiracy), 122 (collecting arms with intent to wage war), 123 (concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war) and other sections of the IPC in five other cases registered at the Barwala police station in November 2014. The magistrate had deferred the date of hearing to August 29 after the police cited tension in view of the Sacha Sauda chief case. Rampal had evaded arrest in connection with a 2006 case involving his followers after they opened fire at villagers in Rohtak, killing one. Rampal ignored Punjab and Haryana High Court summons after he failed to appear in court. The HC then issued non-bailable warrants. In November 2014, he resisted a police operation to arrest him while being holed up inside his ashram. The violent standoff ended in the death of five persons. (With agency inputs) Region limps back to normal HC: If indulging in nonsense, have to be shot Curfew lifted in most places; Khattar security up Saurabh Malik Z-PLUS COVER FOR CBI JUDGE, FAMILY Tribune News Service ■ Naveen S Garewal Chandigarh, August 29 Refusing to go into the police firing in Panchkula after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today said “it was a war-like situation that required to be fought like a war”. Rejecting submissions by lawyers present in the court on the use of pellet guns by the police instead of bullets to disburse the mob, a Full Bench of the High Court thundered: “You want the police to soft-pedal. In case you are indulging in nonsense, you have to be shot.” The assertion came soon after the issue of deaths in police firing was raised before the Bench. More than 30 persons were killed in Panchkula on Friday in rioting that broke out minutes after the CBI court held Ram Rahim guilty of rape. The Bench of Acting Chief Justice SS Saron, Justice Tribune News Service Chandigarh, August 29 With no untoward incident reported from anywhere in Punjab and Haryana during the past 24 hours, life is gradually limping back to normal in the region. Barring Sirsa, curfew has been lifted from most places, but heavy deployment of security forces continues. Thirty-eight persons were killed in the violence that erupted after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping his two followers. The state police have slapped cases of sedition against 137 dera followers booked for violence in Panchkula, but observing that the situation was getting back to normal, authorities in Sirsa gave a 12-hour relaxation in curfew. Meanwhile, Internet services were today resumed at many places in Punjab and Haryana. However, the serv- Z-plus security has been provided to the CBI special court judge who convicted the dera chief ■ The additional district and sessions judge rank official, Jagdeep Singh, has been provided 55 security personnel, including 10 NSG commandos, for 24x7 protection ices continue to be suspended in Ambala, Kurukshetra, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind, Hisar and Kaithal. Meanwhile, on the direction of the Centre, the Haryana Government has provided Z-plus security to the CBI special court judge who convicted the dera chief. The additional district and sessions judge rank official, Jagdeep Singh, has been provided 55 policemen, including 10 NSG commandos, who will guard the judge and his family members 24x7. The judge and his family had been receiving threatening messages besides being constantly intimidated, allegedly by the dera followers. The Union Home Ministry had on Friday asked the Haryana Government to provide the highest-level security to the judge. Senior officials said though no untoward incident had been reported from the region, Punjab and Haryana were still on high alert and security agencies were keeping a close watch on the movement of dera followers. In Haryana, the security of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was today beefed up after being reviewed. Meanwhile, senior officials in Panchkula are preparing a report based on the turn of events on August 25 that resulted in violence and suggest measures to avoid such incidents in future. edit: a tale of two sants OpEd: Order on sentence SITs in Punjab, Haryana to monitor FIRs post conviction It war-like situation that required to like ❝ Inwas ayou are indulging in nonsense, yoube foughtbe a war. case have to AFP FILE shot...The message should go loud and clear so that no one can hold the nation to ransom in future — FULL BENCH OF HIGH COURT Surya Kant and Justice Avneesh Jhingan said the rioters were the king and the police victims in the incident. “You have to be hard in a riot situation… When people come armed with petrol bombs, sticks and other weapons, and it is an organ- LETTERS THAT WILL MELT YOUR HEART ‘Zohra, we are family... Every drop of your tears sears heart’ ‘August, you get to be a child once, don’t spend it worrying’ S F ised attack, you have to be firm. If they are indulging in riots, arson and mayhem, they could be killed.” The Bench made clear its intent to frame guidelines on the use of full force to specify situations where use of water cannons, lead or rub- ber bullets were required to deal with mobs. The Bench ordered the setting up of special investigation teams for Punjab and Haryana to be headed by officers not below the rank of Additional Directors General of Police for supervising and SEIZE DERA CHIEF’S PROPERTIES TO PAY VIOLENCE VICTIMS: PIL New Delhi: A PIL has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking that the damage to life and property due to the violent clashes after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in rape cases, be compensated by confiscating and auctioning the properties of Dera Sacha Sauda and its chief. It said that government money should not be used to compensate the victims of violence. The petition also sought setting up of an expert committee to assess loss of life and property. PTI monitoring probes into the FIRs registered post conviction. The Bench also made it clear that judicial magistrates in both states would examine the status of investigations in the FIRs before submitting comprehensive continued on page 8 CBI arrests IG, 7 others for death of HPrape accused Bhanu P Lohumi Tribune News Service OUTHKashmir DIG’s letter to the daughter of slain ASI Abdul Rashid Shah, who broke down during the wreath-laying on Monday, will move even the most stone-hearted. Shah was hit by a bullet in Anantnag while regulating traffic. “Your tears have shaken many hearts. The sacrifice made by your father will always be remembered. You are too young to understand as to why this happened,” the DIG wrote to Zohra on his Facebook post. “People responsible for such violence, who attack the lawful symbol of the state and society, are indeed insane and an enemy of humanity. Your father, like all of us, represented Jammu and Kashmir Police force — a hallmark of valour and sacrifice,” the officer wrote. The slain ASI is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters, the youngest two aged five and three. “Many of our police families have suffered and undergone irreparable trauma defending the common good for the society. All those faces and stories indeed create a rich history, making us proud. We cannot forget our Zohra cried her heart out on Monday. heroes, our dear ones with whom we lived and worked all these years. All these families are part of a great journey that JKP has undertaken serving the society (sic),” the letter read. “Remember, we all are one family at this critical phase. Every drop of your tears sears our heart…..” the officer wrote. The image of a weeping Zohra had gone viral, highlighting the downside of the decades-old Kashmir conflict in which more and more children are losing parents. — TNS ACEBOOK co-founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife welcomed their second daughter — August — to the world with a post on the leading social network. As they did after the birth of their first daughter, Maxima, in 2015, the couple wrote the girl a letter, but this one spoke of revelling in the wonder of childhood instead of visions of a better world on the horizon. “You only get to be a child once, so don’t spend it worrying too much about the future,” said the letter by Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. “You’ve got us for that, and we’ll do everything we possibly can to make sure the world is a better place for you and all children in your generation.” A Zuckerberg Chan Initiative established by the couple has pledged billions of dollars to improving life for their children’s generation with goals such as eliminating disease. The Facebook co-founder is among billionaires who have vowed to donate most of their wealth to charitable causes. “With all the advances in science and technology, your generation should live dramatically better lives Zuckerbergs with newest member. than ours, and we have a responsibility to do our part to make that happen,” the couple wrote, referring back to a letter written to their first daughter after her birth. “But rather than write about growing up, we want to talk about childhood. The world can be a serious place. That’s why it’s important to make time to go outside and play.” And, they expressed hope their new baby would sleep soundly and take frequent naps. — AFP Today’s issue is of 24 pages, including four-page Jobs and Careers. Shimla, August 29 The CBI today arrested eight Himachal Pradesh Police officials, including an Inspector General, in connection with the custodial death of an accused in the Kotkhai rape and murder case. Those arrested are Zahur H Zaidi, IG, Welfare and Administration, who headed the special investigation team (SIT) formed to probe the rape-murder of a minor; then Theog DSP Manoj Joshi and SHO Rajender Singh, ASI Deep Chand Sharma (trio also part of SIT); Head Constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafiq Ali and Constable Ranjit Streta. A local court later remanded them in policy custody till September 4. Suraj (29), a Nepalese labourer and one of the six accused, was allegedly killed in lock-up at the Kotkhai police station on the intervening night of July 18 and 19. The police had claimed IG Zahur Haidar Zaidi, who was heading the SIT, coming out of the judicial court at Chakkar in Shimla on Tuesday. AMIT KANWAR that another accused, Raju, hit Suraj on his private parts and banged his head against the wall, which proved fatal. Alleging a “cover-up to shield the main accused”, an irate mob had set the Kotkhai police station afire. The 16-year-old Class X girl had gone missing while returning from school on July 4 and her naked body was recovered from Halaila forests (Kotkhai) near her village on July 6. A case of gangrape and murder was regis- tered following a postmortem, but the police failed to identify the culprits. The SIT was constituted on July 10 and all six “accused” were arrested within two days. Following public outrage, the government handed over the case to the CBI, which registered two FIRs on July 22. On August 24, the High Court had given the CBI two weeks to complete its probe and file a status report on September 7. more inside
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