Honeypreet Insan sent to six-day police remand, charged with sedition and criminal conspiracy
Honeypreet Insan, adopted daughter of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was remanded to police custody for six days by a court in Panchkula on Wednesday, following her arrest by the Haryana Police a day earlier.
The prosecution had sought a 10-day police remand for Honeypreet, saying she was the closest aide of Gurmeet, who is serving 20 years of sentence on two counts of rape. It also said that she knew many things about the activities of the sect and its role in the violence in Panchkula and other places after Gurmeet's conviction on 25 August.
— ANI (@ANI) October 4, 2017
The police remand was opposed by Honeypreet's counsel, and after the hearing, she was remanded to police custody for six days.
Panchkula was on high alert with tight security around the court to prevent a repeat of the violence that was witnessed following Gurmeet's conviction in August, India Today said.
According to the TV news channel, Honeypreet has been charged under sections 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse), 152 (assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot, etc), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 121B (waging or attempting wage war against Govt of India) in connection with the deadly violence which followed the Gurmeet's conviction on 25 August and is seeking remand for further investigation.
If found guilty of sedition, Honeypreet could be convicted of imprisonment of for two years (under section 120B) and imprisonment of 10 years that may extend to life (under section 121B), one year's imprisonment of one year or fine or both, the news channel said.
Honeypreet had remained a fugitive for 38 days after she was booked by Haryana Police on the charge of sedition. She was arrested on Tuesday from the Zirakpur-Patiala highway, about 15 kilometres from Chandigarh.
Officials of the Special Investigation Team of Haryana Police had earlier questioned Honeypreet. According to IANS, police sources said that Honeypreet was questioned by the SIT officials and women police officials for several hours at the Chandimandir police station in Panchkula.
"She was evasive in her replies about her whereabouts and her role in inciting violence and providing funding to those behind the violence. We are interrogating her and will seek her police remand," a police officer involved in the questioning had told IANS.
A woman accomplice, Sukhdeep Kaur, who was accompanying Honeypreet when she was arrested on Tuesday, was also arrested on charges of harbouring her.
The Haryana Police had been facing a lot of flak for not being able to nab Honeypreet for more than a month. She was at the top of the list of 43 people "wanted" by the Haryana Police in connection with the Panchkula violence. At least 41 people had died and several were injured in the violence. Honeypreet had gone hiding following the incident.
The frantic search for Honeypreet
The Haryana Police on 1 September had issued a lookout notice against Honeypreet and another Ram Rahim aide Aditya Insan following fears that they might "escape from the country".
An arrest warrant was issued against Honeypreet and two key Dera functionaries — Aditya and Pawan Insan, after the Haryana Police moved an application in Panchkula court.
The police had conducted searches at various locations with several teams even traveling across the country, including the Indo-Nepal border, in search of Honeypreet.
Honeypreet, who calls herself "Papa's angel", had accompanied Ram Rahim from the sect headquarters at Sirsa to special CBI court in Panchkula on 25 August. After Dera chief's conviction that day, she also accompanied him in a chopper when he was flown to Rohtak jail.
There had been no trace of Honeypreet after that day.
On 26 September, the Delhi High Court had dismissed Honeypreet's transit anticipatory bail plea. The court's order was based on the ground that she had been evading arrest and hence, was not entitled to any discretionary relief.
With agency inputs