Dera Sacha Sauda chief and actor-producer-director Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was today (May 28) acquitted by the Punjab and Haryana high court in the murder case of a former Dera official. Ranjit Singh, a member of the Dera’s state-level committee, was shot dead in 2002. It is alleged that the murder was linked to his suspected role in circulating an anonymous letter which narrated about Ram Rahim’s sexual exploitation of women at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa (Haryana).

A CBI court had in 2021 convicted Ram Rahim and four others in the murder case and sentenced them to life imprisonment. The special court had held that it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that the Dera chief was aggrieved by the circulation of the letter and conspired with the other accused to kill Ranjit Singh. The 56-year-old Dera chief had challenged this conviction in the high court. The four others convicted by the CBI court have were also acquitted today.

However, the controversial Dera chief is still in jail after being convicted of raping two sadhvis at the Dera headquarters and of murdering journalist Ram Chander Prajapati, who had reported extensively on the sexual assault allegations against him. Ram Rahim is now serving a 20-year-jail term and has challenged his conviction in the high court.