Police search Dera Sacha Sauda’s headquarters amid tight security

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Dera Sachha Sauda’s Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted guilty by the CBI Special Court in Panchkula on 25 August in the rape case of two Sadhvis from his Ashram. He has been sentenced to a rigorous imprisonment for 20 years and is held in the District Jail at Sunaria near Rohtak.

The Dera Chief has lakhs of followers across the nation and even abroad. As soon as the verdict of the court was announced against Ram Rahim his supporters broke out on the roads torching and burning vehicles and properties protesting against the court’s decision. Despite seven layers of heavy security deployed in Haryana the state administration had to face a tough time to maintain law and order in the state and bring back normalcy.

Following the verdict and sentence of the Dera Chief now the Police along with the  Security agencies and district authorities has begun search operations at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana’s Sirsa town on Friday amid tight security and curfew in the area. Court commissioner AKS Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court is supervising the operation and the entire scene is being video graphed.

The Dera headquarters is spread in an area of 700 acres and senior district administration and police officers, along with para-military forces and Haryana Police searched the entire property. Bomb disposal squads, commandos, dog squads and locksmiths were also deployed for the search operation. According to the sources, 41 paramilitary companies, 4 army columns, the police of 4 districts, 1 SWAT team and one dog squad was present at the location. JCB’s were also taken to dig in the area for the investigation. The area where the Dera Chief resided was called as the ‘Gufa’ and it was spread over an area of 100 acres. The areas nearby the headquarters were all sealed ahead of the surveillance.

The Dera premises comprised of a heart-shaped multi-specialty hospital, along with a luxury resort housed in a ship-shaped structure. There is an international school with an airplane like towers.

District officials said that the mystery and the dirty secrets of the Dera and its chief Gurmeet Rah Rahim could be revealed in this search operation. However, people opposed to the sect’s activities said that the search operation is being carried out too late and the Dera members would have by now hidden or taken out weapons and other incriminating things out of the campus.

Dera administration chairperson Vipassana said that “We are cooperating with the local administration. All weapons of the Dera and individuals inside (the premises) have been deposited with the authorities. We have nothing to hide.”

During the search Deputy Director, Satish Mehra informed that few computers and hard disks were sealed and some cash was also seized. He said that a team from the forensic department was also called for the investigation of few sealed rooms. The plastic currency used by the people residing in the Dera was recovered during the search.

Haryana government’s Home Department has issued an order saying that till 23:59 hrs of September 10, only Voice calls will be active on the mobiles rest all the services including Mobile Internet services, including 2G, 3G, 4G, CDMA and GPRS, all SMS services and all dongle services provided on mobile networks will be suspended in Sirsa district.