Honeypreet Insan finally in police custody: Gurmeet Ram Rahim's adopted daughter 'rounded up' in Punjab
Honeypreet, in her mid-30s, is on the run since August 25, hours after Ram Rahim was convicted.
Within hours of giving her first interview since the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy broke out, Honeypreet Insan, the 'daughter' of controversial Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is now in the custody of Haryana Police. She will be produced in Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday, media reports said.
However, different accounts of how Honeypreet was arrested, have emerged with the police forces of the two states appearing to be competing to take credit in the high-profile case.
A Haryana Police official told CNN-News 18, that the arrest was carried out by Haryana Police's SIT team in Punjab's Patiala district and the local police had been informed, as per the standard operating procedure. She was arrested from Zeerakhpur in Patiala.
However, initial media reports said that Honeypreet had surrendered herself in Punjab on Tuesday morning, following which the Punjab police handed over her custody to the Haryana Police. Also, in an interview with India Today, she had also expressed her desire to surrender to the police.
However, Haryana Police denied the reports and insisted that it was them who had rounded up Honeypreet. "It was the SIT team of Haryana Police that rounded up Honeypreet Insan from Punjab. It was indicated to the Punjab Police as per the SoP," Panchkula police commissioner told CNN-News18.
Haryana BJP, which is also the ruling party in the state, alleged that the Punjab administration was shielding Honeypreet, claiming that it had crucial links which could have led to her arrest, but it did not share it with its Haryana counterparts.
Meanwhile, Punjab Minister Manpreet Singh Badal rubbished such allegations. Speaking to Times Now, Badal said that Punjab and Haryana were brother states, and the Punjab Police or state authorities had no reason to do such a thing.
A court in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, had on 25 September, issued arrest warrants against Honeypreet, Aditya Insan, and Pawan Insan.
All three were booked by the Haryana Police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and being involved in a conspiracy to help Dera chief Gurmeet escape after his conviction by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on 25 August on two counts of raping female disciples in 1999.
The Haryana Police had also sounded an international alert against all three.
Honeypreet, who changed her name from Priyanka Taneja, spoke to multiple news channels on Monday claiming innocence in the cases that Haryana Police is pursuing her for.
On her vanishing act, Honeypreet said that she had to go underground because she panicked after "false allegations" were leveled against her. Honeypreet also said that she was suffering from great mental trauma and depression after her 'loving father's' arrest and the mud-slinging that followed, because of which she needed time to pull herself together.
Honeypreet, in her mid-30s, has been on the run since 25 August, hours after Gurmeet was convicted. She has been the closest aide of Gurmeet since 2009. The police was on her trail for nearly a month and raids have been conducted in Nepal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Delhi, and Haryana.
According to a statement released by Haryana Police in September, she topped the list of most wanted persons in relation to the wide-spread violence in Panchkula after Gurmeet's conviction.
Earlier on 25 September, Honeypreet had moved the Delhi High Court seeking anticipatory transit bail. However, the police of Delhi and Haryana had opposed her plea on the ground that the court of competent jurisdiction would be in Haryana.
Last week, Honeypreet's former husband, Vishwas Gupta had accused her and Dera chief Gurmeet of having illicit relations and said their father-daughter relationship was a sham to fool followers.
Gurmeet has been sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.
His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.
Honeypreet, who used to claim that she was Ram Rahim's "adopted daughter", starred as the main heroine in the five films that the Dera chief has directed, produced and in which he starred, in the last three years.
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