An early morning crackdown began at the headquarter of Dera Sacha Sauda, just days after its chief Gurmeet Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two of his followers.
Correspondents present in Sirsa outside the headquarter told Janta Ka Reporter that a large columns of paramilitary forces had entered the Dera. Media personnel, they said, were not allowed.
News agency ANI reported that 41 paramilitary companies, 4 army columns, police of 4 districts, 1 SWAT team and one dog squad have been deployed for the search operation. The local administration has imposed curfew in the areas adjoining the Dera. Sources said that the curfew will be effective until search operations are complete.
Speaking to reporters, Deputy Director Satish Mehra said they had recovered some computers and hard disks from Dera premises so far.
He said, “Some computers, hard disks and cash has been seized. Few rooms are also sealed. Forensic team has been called from Roorkee.” There’s not much information on the contents recovered so far.
The Dera’s acting head, Viapassana, on Friday issued a video appeal asking her followers to maintain peace and law and order.
Police recently recovered a large cache of sophisticated of arms from the Dera raising suspicions if the rapist baba was raising his private army, that could potentially challenge the sovereignty of India.
Moments after Singh was sentenced, police had recovered AK 47 rifles, petrol bombs and other weapons from the Dera.
Singh is alleged to have raped several women, mostly his followers staying inside the Dera. He’s been sentenced for raping two women, who he raped repeatedly 18 years ago inside what was called gufa.
Friday’s search is taking place at the behest of Punjab and Haryana High Court, which has also asked retired sessions judge A K S Panwar to submit a detailed report on the Dera in a sealed cover on the next date of hearing, reported Indian Express. The 700-acre walled compound will be sanitised by state machinery Panwar’s supervision.
The rapist baba, meanwhile remains in jail as police continue to look for his so-called adopted daughter, Honeypreet Singh, with whom he allegedly had frequent sexual encounters.