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‘Pillars of democracy cannot be allowed to be crushed’: CBI court in Chhatrapati murder case

18 January, 2019

Press is ideally the watchdog of the democracy 
Pillars of democracy cannot be allowed to be crushed

With the special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula on Thursday slapping life imprisonment on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and his three followers for murder of Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati, who was killed for highlighting wrongdoings inside the Dera headquarters, the verdict has not only brought justice to the deceased’s family nearly after 16 years, but this judgment has also come as a moment of proud for Chhatrapati’s journalistic fraternity as the court has showered numerous words glorifying the job of an honest journalist.

Terming the press as watchdog of the democracy and ‘fourth estate’ in modern state, the court of special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh in its order made it clear that the pillars of democracy cannot be allowed to be crushed.

In its final order, the CBI court said, “Journalism is a serious business, which ignites the desire to seek and report the truth and as such facilitates a better society and world. There is little glamour to the job, no big reward and in the traditional mould it is predominantly a public service in the sincerest sense. Any honest and dedicated journalist has always an uphill task to report the truth, especially concerning a powerful person enjoying political patronage across party lines.”

The court further said, “Some time a journalist finds himself or herself present with an offer to choose either ‘the carrot’ or ‘the stick’. Those who refuse often face the consequences, sometimes even to the extent of getting eliminated. If he submits to the powerful, he looses credibility; if he defies, he gets killed. Therefore in the fight between the good and the evil, it is the journalist in the traditional mould- the one who is inspired by idealistic fervour to serve the cause of truth- who becomes a causality. In the instant case, life of an innocent citizen and an upright, idealistic journalist was snuffed out simply because he dared to write about the activities of a powerful head of some dera. However mobocracy and violent attacks on innocent citizens have no place in a democracy like ours which is governed by rule of law and sound Constitutional norms. The pillars of democracy cannot be allowed to be crushed.”

Dera chief and three others have been sentenced to life for entering into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate Ram Chander Chhatarpati and for committing murder of deceased Chhatrapati, a journalist based in Sirsa, who used to publish daily eveninger named ‘Poora Sach’.

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