The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Haryana police, probing into the the violence that had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa on 25 August after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction, on Sunday arrested Dr Mahinder Pal Singh alias Mahender Insan, a doctor who is accused of performing castration on Dera followers, said media reports.
According to The Times of India report, Mahender was a close aide to Ram Rahim and was among those seven persons who were booked in the case registered at Sector 5 police station in Panchkula. Mahender was nabbed from the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. He was absconding after a case was registered against him on 28 August, said India Today report.
The report added that he was reportedly hiding inside the Dera complex where the police had conducted a search operation in September last year.
The Times of India report added, that Mahender was seen at the spot just before the violence and was also among those who attended the action plan meeting called by Honeypreet Insan on 17 August.
In October, five Dera supporters in police custody had confessed that Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of Ram Rahim, had masterminded and funded the Panchkula violence, News18 had reported.
Mahender is also a close associate of Dera functionary Aditya Insan, who is alleged to be a key culprit behind the mob violence on 25 August. Adiya has been on the run since registration of case against him. Haryana police in December decided to double the reward money from Rs one lakh to two lakh for information leading to the arrest of Aditya.
Most of the jailed sect chief's confidants including Honeypreet, who was on the run after his conviction, were arrested as Haryana police registered 173 FIRs with nearly 1,000 Dera followers as accused.
On 3 January, Ram Rahim Singh's relative and former MLA Harminder Singh Jassi appeared before the SIT. Assistant commissioner of Panchkula police heading the SIT had asked Jassi to appear before it earlier, but the former Congress legislator had requested for more time.
Haryana remained on edge after the Sirsa-headquartered sect chief was convicted by a special CBI court, triggering widespread violence and arson, mainly in Panchkula and Sirsa, leaving 41 dead and scores injured.
The Dera chief, now lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping two disciples.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 10:10:39 IST