Days after a CBI court sentenced the rapist baba Gurmeet Singh to 20 years in two rape cases, a girl, studying at a school and living in the Dera Sacha Sauda complex in Sirsa, has reportedly gone missing. Her family members alleged that they were struggling to find her with no help from the controversial sect.
The missing girl’s cousin, Parminder Singh, claimed that the last time the family got information about Shraddha was from a Dera-run magazine, which described her as a yoga player.
“The Sahe Baitiyan Baseera’s (home for minor girls) caretaker, Poonam, said that she had left the Dera after the sect’s head (Gurmeet Ram Rahim) was convicted,” Singh was quoted by news agency PTI.
Singh was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping two of his female disciples by a special CBI court on August 28.
“Shradhha was left in the Dera to pursue her education long time back. In 2008, we tried to meet her, but we were not allowed by the Dera functionaries,” he said.
“I have tried to contact the officials of the Dera on their mobile numbers, but the entire exercise was futile,” he said, adding, since, the area around the sect’s headquarter is still under curfew, it was difficult to get inside.
Sources said that around 29 minor girls were in the Dera-run ‘Sahe Baitiyan Baseera’.
“Eighteen girls, all of whom are minors said that they were happy and did not want to come out. However, we persuaded the Dera management, and with their help brought them out,” Sirsa Deputy Commissioner, Prabhjot Singh, had said earlier.
The girls were sent to juvenile homes at different places, including Sonipat in Haryana, officials said.
“The girls said they were happy and safe inside. We found them in healthy condition,” the deputy commissioner said.
Like Shradhha’s family, relatives of Suchaitana and Aapar from Delhi are also eagerly waiting for their near and dear ones.
The Sirsa district administration is also facilitating and arranging transport for followers of the Dera to return home.
Forty-one people died and several were injured in incidents of violence in Haryana’s Panchkula and Sirsa districts after the conviction of the Dera chief.