Dera HQ search ops as it happened: On Day 1, authorities seize cash, hard disk, luxury car and designer clothes

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Dera HQ search ops as it happened: On Day 1, authorities seize cash, hard disk, luxury car and designer clothes
  • 16:23 (IST)

    Fibre tunnel also located

    State Information and Public Relations Department deputy director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media, said, "A fibre tunnel too has been located during the search of the dera."

    The fibre tunnel is filled with mud, he said.

    Read the full PTI report here.

  • 16:05 (IST)

    An NDTV video shows authorities collecting illegal explosives from the Dera campus in Sirsa

  • 15:46 (IST)

    Govt begins inquiry into donation of dead bodies by Dera to private medical college

    The health department in Sirsa has begun an inquiry into the donation of 14 dead bodies by Dera Sacha Sauda to a private medical college in Uttar Pradesh between January and August 2017.

    Sirsa civil surgeon Gobind Gupta and a team of doctors from the district are presently in a multi-specialty hospital of the Dera to conduct the probe, as police and security forces continue conducting search operations in Dera premises.

    Health minister Anil Vij had directed a probe into this matter.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 14:44 (IST)

    Some of the goods seized from the Dera

    Image courtesy: Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 14:42 (IST)

    Some of the crackers seized by the police from Dera

  • 14:04 (IST)

    Some Haryana ministers at fault

    In this News18 article by KTS Tulsi, it has been opined that some Haryana ministers should face trial because according to some media reports, two or three of these ministers were heard telling Dera followers that Section 144 was not for them.

    "The moot problem is not the lack of legislation but its implementation. If existing laws are implemented in their full spirit, such incidents will definitely be fewer to witness. However, the implementation needs a genuine political will and an effective administration. Haryana government and particularly, Manohar Lal Khattar, have proven thrice, they lack both miserably," Tulsi said in the article.

  • 13:10 (IST)

  • 13:10 (IST)

    Window-shaped tunnel connecting Ram Rahim's cave to sadhvis' residence found

    In a disturbing development, dearch teams have found a window-dhaped tunnel connecting Ram Rahim's house, the cave, to the sadhvis' residence.

    Deputy director Satish Mehra informed the media that empty boxes, which are used to store AK-47 magazines, have also been found.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 13:03 (IST)

    More visuals from the mock drill at PGIMS Rohtak

  • 13:02 (IST)

    Security personnel conduct mock drill at PGIMS Rohtak

    The mock drill is being conducted to shift Ram Rahim — who is lodged in Sunaria jail — to the hospital for treatment if the need arises.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 12:56 (IST)

    Two key Dera functionaries arrested for allegedly inciting violence

    Two key functionaries of Dera Sacha Sauda were arrested for allegedly inciting violence in Panchkula following the conviction of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, police said today.

    "Chamkaur Singh, who is the incharge of Dera Sacha Sauda centre in Panchkula and Daan Singh, who is also a key Dera functionary, have been arrested from Chandigarh," Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police Manbir Singh said.

    Both have been arrested in connection with the violence that took place in Panchkula on August 25, police said.

    A Punjab police commando Karamjit Singh, who was part of the Ram Rahim's security was also arrested by Haryana police from Patiala, police said.

    The commando was nabbed for his alleged role in hatching a conspiracy to free Ram Rahim Singh from the Panchkula court complex, police said. — PTI

  • 12:47 (IST)

  • 12:38 (IST)

    Buried skeletons suspected underneath ground near Ram Rahim's cave

    Sources said that forensic teams will start digging the earth near Ram Rahim's cave, suspecting skeletons buried inside.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 12:33 (IST)

    Separate SITs formed in Panchkula

  • 12:00 (IST)

    Explosives used to make fireworks seized

    Security agencies and district authorities again began with search operations at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana’s Sirsa town on Saturday morning amid tight security in the area.

    A factory manufacturing fireworks has been sealed.

    “Explosives used to make fireworks and crackers have been seized.

     A factory, that manufactured fireworks, situated inside the Dera headquarters has been sealed,” said deputy director, information, Satish Mehra.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 11:58 (IST)

    Updates begin for 9 September

  • 21:23 (IST)

    Security forces stand guard at Satnam Chowk, the main entrance to the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, in Sirsa  

    Journalists also were not allowed to enter beyond this point while search operations took place during the day.

    Image courtesy: PTI

  • 21:19 (IST)

    Ravinder Kumar, a Dera Sacha Sauda follower, hangs himself in Ambala jail

    Ravinder, 27, who was lodged in the Ambala jail following the violence in Panchkula on 25 August, allegedly hanged himself on Sunday, said Ambala Central Jail officials, reported The Indian Express

    He faced attempt to murder, rioting, damaging public property and assault charges. Held in judicial custody, he committed suicide in the washroom of the barracks where he was jailed with a piece of cloth.

    Superintendent of Police (Ambala) Abhishek Jorwal said: “The family members of Ravinder have been informed about his death. A judicial probe has been ordered by the jail authorities. Inquest proceedings are being conducted by district police. We have videographed the scene of incident, where Ravinder allegedly committed suicide. A post-mortem examination shall be conducted.”

    He was arrested in the violence that ensued in Panchkula after a special CBI court convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim of raping two sadhvis. 

  • 21:06 (IST)

    Report on search operations will be submitted to the Punjab and Haryana High Court

    A report of the entire exercise will be submitted to the high court by the court commissioner, with a copy to the state government. - PTI

  • 20:51 (IST)

    Licensed weapons were earlier deposited to the police by Dera Sacha Sauda followers

    The police and the Dera management have maintained that licenced weapons were deposited by most Dera followers at Sirsa with the police authorities. - PTI

  • 20:45 (IST)

    Hisar IGP, Sirsa SP and district deputy commissioner were also part of search operations

    Hisar Inspector general of police Amitabh Dhillon, Sirsa SP Ashwin Shenvi and Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh are also part of the exercise.

    Officials from revenue, health, education, Tourism and other departments also participated. Bomb disposal squads and commandos were also deployed inside as a preventive measure. 

    With inputs from PTI and IANS

  • 20:37 (IST)

    Photo of the black Toyota Lexus luxury SUV without the number plate seized at the Dera headquarters

    The vehicle was taken to the Sirsa police station.

    Image courtesy: PTI

  • 20:25 (IST)

    Hospital, stadium, resort, bungalows: Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters have it all

    The Dera is spread over two campuses, 600 acres and over 100 acres respectively, about eight kilometres from Sirsa and 260 kilometres from Chandigarh. It houses a stadium, a hospital, educational institutions, luxury resort, bungalows and markets. Hundreds of people and sect followers permanently live and work in the mini-township. 

    The premises, where the sect chief lived, known as the "gufa" (cave), is itself spread over an area of nearly 100 acres. It is said to have ultra-luxury facilities. The campus has palatial bungalows of his other family members, none of whom are in the premises since 25 August, when the sect chief was convicted of rape and sent to jail. - IANS

  • 20:14 (IST)

    Rs 12,000 in new notes, computer, along with luxury car, hard disks, seized

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 20:08 (IST)

    Two minor children found handed over to local DCPO

    The two minor children are among the five found near the Dera headquarters in Upkaar Colony. They have now been handed over to the DCPO.

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 20:01 (IST)

    Search operation peacefully ends for the day at 6.30 pm, will continue again tomorrow

    "The search operation began at 9 am and peacefully concluded at 6.30 pm inside the Dera headquarter premises. It will resume again on Saturday," said district deputy commissioner Prabhjot Singh.

    He also said the forensic team has begun its investigation in Gurmeet Ram Rahim's cave inside the Dera headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana. 

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 19:45 (IST)

    Haryana minister Anil Vij says Dera head has been convicted, not the organisation

    Asked whether he would reach out to the followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda in future to seek votes, Vij said, "We seek votes from all."

    "It is the Dera's head who has been convicted by the court and the Dera has not been declared illegal," he said.

    During the last Assembly polls in Haryana, the Dera head had announced support to the BJP. - PTI

  • 19:32 (IST)

    "Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh would be killed by inmates if left alone without security," says jail inmate on bail

    A Rohtak jail inmate Somu Pandit said that the anger against the self-styled godman is such that he would be killed if left alone with no security.

  • 19:27 (IST)

    16 'nakas' set up near Dera Sacha Sauda's headquarters

    Sixteen 'nakas' have been set up near the Dera. Forty-one companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Sirsa district. - PTI

  • 19:20 (IST)

    Duty magistrates, executive magistrates, revenue officials also part of search operations

  • 19:05 (IST)

    800-acre Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters divided into 10 zones for sanitisation

    The Dera, spread over nearly 800 acres, has been divided into ten zones for the purpose of sanitisation and searches, with each zone under the control of a senior officer. - PTI

  • 18:58 (IST)

    Search team also found 1500 pairs of shoes, designer clothes and cash inside Dera headquarters

  • 18:53 (IST)

    Haryana health minister Anil Vij orders inquiry into 14 bodies taken from Dera to a Lucknow medical college

    Following media reports such as those by News24which said at least 14 dead bodies were sent from the Dera headquarters to a private medical college in Lucknow, Haryana health minister Anil Vij ordered an inquiry into the same on Friday. He has asked the Director General of Health Services to conduct the investigation at the earliest.

    News24 reported that the no rules were followed and proper paperwork was not done. The dead bodies were taken between January 2017 and August 2017. The news channel also claimed death certificates were not issued.

    "If this was done, the formalities should have been completed. The reason for sending the bodies must be ascertained. Orders have been issued to examine the matter and find out facts in this case," Vij said. 

    Reported by Sat Singh, 101Reporters

  • 18:44 (IST)

    Journalists not allowed to enter Dera Sacha Sauda

    Journalists were stopped at the Shah Satnam Singh Chowk, about seven kilometres from the headquarters. The chowk, which separates the heart of the city from the Dera, is also under heavy security. - PTI

  • 18:41 (IST)

    Have a look into Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters sprawled across 800 acres

  • 18:35 (IST)

    Curfew remains in place 

    Curfew remains in force on roads leading to the Dera headquarters. The roads are also blocked and no unauthorised person is being allowed to move towards the Dera premises. - PTI

  • 18:33 (IST)

    A deserted view at the main entrance to the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa ahead of the search operations

    Image courtesy: PTI

  • 18:25 (IST)

    Here are some pictures taken earlier on 6 September from inside the Dera headquarters in Sirsa

  • 18:22 (IST)

    Lexus car found inside Dera headquarters brought to Sirsa police station 

  • 18:13 (IST)

    Search operations being videographed by retired judge AKS Pawar

    The process, which began around 8 am, is being videographed and monitored by retired District and Sessions Judge AKS Pawar, who was appointed as a Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to oversee the exercise. - PTI

  • 18:10 (IST)

    Rooms sealed, hard disks, unlabelled medicines recovered

    In a mammoth search operation being carried out by security forces and district authorities, some rooms were also sealed and hard disk drives and unlabelled medicines recovered, Haryana's information and public relations deputy director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media, said.

    "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. - PTI

  • 17:54 (IST)

    Five people including two minors have been found inside

    In the ongoing search operation at Dera Sacha Sauda, five people including two minors have been found, said Satish Mishra, deputy director of Haryana public relations department. A walkie talkie was also recovered as well. 

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Forensic team from Roorkee has entered Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa

  • 17:48 (IST)

    Two minors found inside Gurmeet Ram Rahim's "cave" at Dera Sacha Sauda's headquarters

    The search operation at the Dera headquarters have been going on for nearly eight hours now. The forensic team is combing the "cave" where two minors have now been found, reported Times Now.

  • 17:40 (IST)

    Before AAI revoked Gurmeet Ram Rahim's airport access, he was VIP no. 51 

    Others given access to VIP lounge at airports list include attorney general, MLAs, MPs, Shankaracharya Maharaj of Shri Dwaraka Sharada Peeth

  • 17:31 (IST)

    Black luxury car without number plate, 1200 new notes also found at Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters

    In addition to the above, some endangered animals were also found, reported India Today

  • 17:24 (IST)

    Despite being convicted, Gurmeet Ram Rahim is still hailed as "god" by his followers

  • Inequality in society is one of the reasons 'premis' flock to Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Dera Sacha Sauda

    The Dera also insisted the followers to change their surnames to 'insan'. It was seen as a rule devised to spread across the message that the 'Dera' was more respectful of humanity than any other quality. No wonder then that the Dera had a substantial following among the people from the lower rungs of the much abhorred caste hierarchy. Apart from a liberal atmosphere, the Dera also seemed to have the promise of a new social status to its followers.

    "A follower who successfully convinces a good number of followers from his caste or village was seen as their leader. That enhances his social status to a spiritual leader in a group of 400 to 500 people. Many came to the Dera to attain this status" he said. The leader would be the contact person between the Dera and the followers. He would pass all the messages of the Dera to its followers and would also ensure that the followers meet the guru in their time of need.

    Read more here.

  • 17:11 (IST)

    Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sentenced: Dera chief one of many self-styled godmen' embroiled in scandals

    India's self-styled "godmen" have legions of devoted followers, but several have been embroiled in scandals in recent years.

    Here are some of the more famous godmen:

    Rampal Maharaj

    In 2014 the guru Rampal Maharaj barricaded himself into his ashram guarded by devotees armed with stones, petrol bombs and other weapons after a court issued a warrant for his arrest on a series of charges, including conspiracy to murder.

    It was days before police were finally able to clear the giant complex and arrest the guru, who considered himself an incarnation of a 15th-century mystic Indian poet. Six people died during the siege.

    Ashutosh Maharaj

    Devotees of Ashutosh Maharaj, who died in January 2014, are preserving his body in a freezer and insist he is in a deep meditative state.

    The hugely wealthy founder of the multi-million dollar Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan (Divine Light Awakening Mission) sect apparently died of a cardiac arrest.

    Read more here

  • 16:57 (IST)

    A look at Deras and their famous political visitors 

    Infographic by Network18creative

Security agencies and district authorities began a search operation at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana's Sirsa town on Friday amid tight security and curfew in the area.

The search was being conducted under the supervision of court commissioner AKS Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Courts.

Senior district administration and police officers, along with para-military forces and Haryana Police, were involved in the videographed operation around the sprawling 700-acre campus.

Duty magistrates have been appointed for various zones of the Dera. Officials from police, revenue, health, education, tourism and other departments have also participated.

Bomb disposal squads, commandos, dog squads and locksmiths were deployed.

All roads leading to the headquarters from Sirsa and nearby places were sealed. Even media was not allowed near the Dera campus.

District officials said that the "mystery" over the "dirty secrets" of the Dera and its now jailed chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment by a CBI special court on two counts of rape of his female disciples, could be revealed in the search operation.

But people opposed to the sect's activities said that the operation had been delayed and alleged that the Dera management could have hidden or taken out weapons and other incriminating things out of the campus in the past few days since Ram Rahim was convicted on 25 August.

 Dera HQ search ops as it happened: On Day 1, authorities seize cash, hard disk, luxury car and designer clothes

File image of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Wikimedia Commons

The Dera is spread over two campuses, 600 acres and over 100 acres, about eight kilometres from Sirsa and 260 kilometres from Chandigarh.

It houses a stadium, a hospital, educational institutions, luxury resort, bungalows and markets.

Hundreds of people and sect followers permanently live and work in the mini-township.

The premises, where the sect chief lived, known as the "gufa" (cave), is itself spread in an area of nearly 100 acres. It is said to have ultra-luxury facilities.

Security was tightened around the Dera headquarters since Wednesday following the approval granted by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to the state government to "search and sanitise" the premises.

Dera administration chairperson Vipassana, who is a close aide of the sect head, said: "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."

In a fresh appeal to sect followers, Vipassana on Friday urged them to cooperate in the search operation.

Hours before the search operation began, the sect's mouthpiece "Sach Kahoon" on Thursday admitted that human remains were buried inside the premises.

The Dera newspaper, while defending the action of the Dera management in burying the human remains, said this was done as the sect chief encouraged followers to donate the remains to the sect for burial and prevent these from being immersed in rivers, causing pollution.

Updated Date: Sep 09, 2017 16:23:37 IST