September 08, 2017 10:03 PM

Sirsa/Chandigarh (Face2News)

A luxury car without a registration plate and old currency notes were on Friday seized from the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa in a mammoth search and sanitisation operation carried out by security forces and district authorities, an official said. The searches were conducted on the sprawling 700-acre walled compound under the supervision of retired sessions judge AKS Panwar amid tight security by police and paramilitary personnel. The sanitisation process, which started around 8 AM, comes 11 days after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment following his conviction in two rape cases.

Satish Mehra, Haryana’s Information and Public Relations Deputy Director, said some rooms were also sealed and hard disk drives and unlabelled medicines were also recovered. “Some rooms have been sealed, computer hard disk drives, unregistered Lexus car, an OB van, Rs 7,000 of demonetised currency, Rs 12,000 cash and some pharma medicines without labels or a brand name are among other items which have been seized,” he said.

According to sources, the sanitisation process could easily last a couple of days due to the enormity of the area. Several blacksmiths have been brought on board to break the numerous locks inside the Dera. Over 40 companies of central forces accompanied by sniper dogs have been deployed to keep a strict vigil on security inside and outside the dera. Curfew has also been enforced in areas surrounding headquarters in Sirsa which will continue till search operations last. 

The media and public have been prohibited from entering the campus, while mobile internet services have been suspended in Sirsa district until September with an aim to prevent the spread of rumours. A tight security arrangement was put in place before the search operation in view of the Panchkula violence, which left over 35 people dead and several injured.

There is a lot of suspense over a suspected Gufa (cave) inside the dera where Ram Rahim Singh had sexually exploited the sadhvis (female followers). Two victims, who had shown courage to speak against the dera chief, had told the court that the self-styled godman had raped them inside the gufa of the dera.

According to officials, a large number of vehicles, including police buses, paramilitary and Quick Reaction Team vehicles and bomb disposal squad and anti-sabotage team, entered the Dera complex earlier this morning.

“We have a strategy and are hopeful that the sanitisation process will be conducted in a smooth manner. The Dera management too has expressed its willingness to cooperate with the local administration and police during the investigation,” Haryana Police DGP B S Sandhu had said in Chandigarh earlier.

Meanwhile, the Dera management had said it would cooperate with the authorities. “Today the sanitisation process has begun. We have always followed the law. We will extend all cooperation in carrying out this exercise by the government and appeal to all to cooperate and to maintain peace and calm,” Dera chairperson Vipassana Insan said.

The premises of the Dera comprise of educational institutions, markets, a hospital, stadium, recreational areas and houses. The self-styled godman also has some shops in the complex selling consumer products which he had launched two years ago under “MSG” brand.

Earlier, the Haryana government had filed a plea seeking permission for the sanitisation process under judicial supervision. Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar had earlier said some “objectionable” items were recovered during the sanitisation of ‘namcharcha ghars’ (congregation centres of Dera Sacha Sauda) in the state. (inputs Agencies/Indian Express)

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