Five people, including two minors, have been rescued from the Ram Rahim ‘gufa’ inside the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa. A luxury car without a registration plate and old currency notes were also seized. In the mammoth search operation, 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.
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Forensic Team from Roorkee has entered Dera Sirsa Headquarter: Deputy Director of the Haryana Public Relations Department Satish Mehra— ANI (@ANI) September 8, 2017
"The team searching the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa have seized computers, hard disks and cash from the complex. A few rooms in the sect headquarters have been sealed and a forensic team has been called from Roorkee," said deputy director Satish Mehra. "The Dera people are cooperating for now, we have enough people and we will take a call in the evening as to what time we'll continue the operation."
CNN-News18's Zeba Warsi gets you the current ground report from Sirsa after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's sentencing on August 28, 2017:
"We have formed a strategy and are hopeful that the sanitisation process will be conducted in a smooth manner. The Dera management too has expressed willingness to cooperate with the local administration and police during the investigation," Haryana Police DGP B S Sandhu said in Chandigarh yesterday. The Dera management today said it will cooperate in the sanitisation process. "Today the sanitisation process has begun. We have always followed law. We will extend all cooperation in carrying out this (sanitisation) exercise by the government and appeal to all to maintain peace and calm," Dera chairperson Vipassana Insan said here.
CLICK TO READ | Dera Mouthpiece Admits to Skeletons at Sirsa Premises, Claims They Were Donated
People earlier associated with the sect, have alleged that the sect chief got those who opposed his activities killed and buried inside the 70-acre campus of the sect.
The Dera Sacha Sauda’s mouthpiece ‘Sach Kahoon’ claimed that the human remains were buried within the Dera Sacha Sauda campus and trees were planted on these. Some persons, who were earlier associated with the sect but left it later, have alleged that the sect chief got killed those who opposed his activities and got them buried inside the 70-acre campus of the sect, IANS reported.
Dera Sacha Sauda’s mouthpiece ‘Sach Kahoon’ admitted on Thursday that human remains were buried in the sect’s premises. The newspaper, while defending the action of the Dera management in burying the human remains, said this was done as sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh encouraged followers to donate the remains to the sect for burial and prevent these from being immersed in rivers etc., causing pollution.
The Dera is spread over two campuses, 600 acres and over 100 acres, about 8 km from Sirsa and 260 km 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.
The judicial officer, appointed by Punjab and Haryana High Court, AK Pawar will lead the search operations at Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters. 40 SWAT commandos, 41 companies of paramilitary forces, 50 bomb disposal units and 5000 Haryana police personnel are accompanying the judicial officer. As it is believed that there are secret tunnels inside the Dera complex, a team of miners and 6 JCB machines are accompanying the search team. Dog squads, heavy metal detectors and bullet proof vehicles will are also inside the complex. About 100 bank officers and Tax, Revenue department officials are also present.
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.
Security agencies and district authorities began search operations at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters on Friday amid tight security and curfew in the area. The search, which is being video-graphed, is being conducted under the supervision of court commissioner AKS Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Senior district administration and police officers, along with para-military forces and Haryana Police, were involved in the operation around the sprawling 700-acre campus.
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