Sect leader, 7 others get three yrs in jail

Convicted for hurting religious sentiments, get bail

Sect leader, 7 others get three yrs in jail

A local court on Monday convicted eight persons, including a sect leader, and awarded them three years imprisonment in two cases registered against them in Ropar district on the charges of hurting the religious sentiments of a community.

Chief judicial magistrate, Ambala, A K Jain held the sect leader Piara Singh Bhaniarawala and seven others guilty in the cases and pronounced the verdict.

The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on the convicts, prosecution sources said.

The others held guilty by the court are Harjit Singh, Jaswinder Singh, Surmukh Singh, Surjit Singh, Bhupinder Singh, Ashok Kumar and Rajinder Singh.

However, later, all of them were granted bail by the court upon furnishing bail bonds of Rs 40,000 each.

Meanwhile, five other accused — Balwinder, Pritam, Sadhu, Karnail and Satnam — were acquitted as no sufficient evidences were found against them. Besides this, two accused had died during the trial period of the case.

According to prosecution, two cases against 15 people, including Bhaniarawala, were registered in Morinda in the district in 2001 for insulting the religious book and hurting the religious sentiments of a community.

Later, on the direction of Punjab and Haryana High Court, both the cases were transferred to Ambala. Tight security arrangements were made in and around the local courts complex here on Monday as the verdict was pronounced.

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