Published: Mon, September 11, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Merle Christensen

Punjab, Haryana set to clash over Dera security

Punjab, Haryana set to clash over Dera security

Though it is not clear why such a huge volume of explosive material was stored on the campus, the Dera management, in its defence, claimed it was used to make fire crackers.

The security forces and district authorities in Sirsa have found an illegal explosive factory and two secret tunnels- one leading to women's hostel, inside Gurmeet Ram Rahim's sprawling base on the second day of search operations.

This order came after the Haryana Police seized a cache of 33 licensed weapons of the Dera Sacha Sauda.

The search was being conducted under the supervision of Court Commissioner AK Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Fire tenders, heavy earth moving machines and tractors have also been pressed into service for the sanitisation exercise.

The conviction had sparked massive protests by Dera followers in and around Panchkula.

The 50-year-old Dera chief, who is lodged in Rohtak's Sunaria jail, has been sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the CBI court for raping of two of his disciples.

"The forensic experts were coordinating with other teams which were already inside taking part in the sanitisation and search operation", Mehra said.

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According to media reports, luxury auto, an OB van, unlabelled medicines, old currency notes and hard disk drives were recovered from various rooms of the Dera Headquarters.

A window-shaped secret tunnel that connected the Dera chief's private residence, also known as gufa, to the sadhvis (female disciples) hostel was found during the search, according to Mehra.

When asked what they were doing inside the campus, he said the District Child Protection officer will quiz them about this.

The Dera has been divided into ten zones for the objective of sanitization and searches, with each zone under the control of a senior officer. The heath department is probing the case of cadaver donations at the Dera.

Police will soon begin a thorough investigation of the Dera headquarters. He had held long discussions with top officials of the civil and police administration and made it clear that no disruption should be allowed in the operation.

There was large scale violence following the sect heads conviction which left 41 people dead including 35 in Panchkula and six in Sirsa. Police also recovered one more vehicle equipped with a projector to show the dera chief's movies.

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