ED, Income Tax teams arrive in Sirsa to probe assets of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's Dera Sacha Sauda

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Income Tax Department teams arrived at Sirsa on Tuesday to probe assets of Dera Sacha Sauda as directed by Punjab and Haryana High Court, media reports said.

The high court had in last month, directed the agencies to examine the Dera Sacha Sauda sect's assets and check for violation of rules. The high court had made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation regarding the sect and its activities.

Additional Solicitor General of India Satya Pal Jain, who is representing the Centre in the case had said, "The high court had directed the ED and IT authorities to examine all properties of the Dera Sacha Sauda — movable and immovable — and funds and see if there were any violation of the provisions of the IT Act and Prevention of Money Laundering Act", The New Indian Express reported.

 ED, Income Tax teams arrive in Sirsa to probe assets of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singhs Dera Sacha Sauda

File image of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. PTI

The amount spent on Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s films will be probed as well. ED will also investigate Singh's foreign funding, Hindustan Times reported.

The Punjab and Haryana High court had earlier this month ordered search and sanitisation of the 700-acre sprawling campus of the sect near Sirsa town in Haryana. The court commissioner, who carried out the search operation along with Haryana Police, paramilitary forces, and district authorities, will submit his report to the high court soon.

The three-day-long exercise to sanitise the sect headquarters at Sirsa, from 8 to 10 September, had led to the unearthing of two secret tunnels and an illegal firecracker factory, and the sealing of an unlicensed skin bank. Meanwhile, The Haryana Police has also arrested Dera's Chartered Accountant and CEO of MSG company CP Arora over alleged involvement in Panchkula violence conspiracy, ANI reported.

MSG is an acronym for Mastana Ji, Satnam Ji and Gurmeet Singh, the three gurus who have headed the Dera since its inception in 1948, according to Business standard.

Arora was spearheading the business ventures of Singh, the convicted chief of cult group Dera Sacha Sauda, the report added.

Singh was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula on 25 August for raping two disciples. Thirty-five people died in incidents of violence in Panchkula after his conviction while six lives were lost in Sirsa. The sect chief was handed down two 10-year terms of imprisonment to be served consecutively and is currently lodged in the Sunaria jail in Rohtak.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Oct 17, 2017 11:47:02 IST