SIRSA: A tunnel and a passageway connecting Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s quarters to the hostel of his female disciples were on Saturday found by the security agencies during the second day of a massive sanitisation exercise inside the headquarters of his sect in Sirsa district.
An illegal fire cracker factory and chemicals were also found during the search of the premises of the dera, whose chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was jailed for 20 years in two rape cases last month.
Haryana: Fire crackers factory sealed, explosives & fire-crackers seized from #DeraSachaSauda as search continues in Dera HQ in Sirsa pic.twitter.com/sYd4hwmO4v
— ANI (@ANI) September 9, 2017
From the Dera Awas (‘gufa’) where the Dera head used to stay, a passageway was found which opens to ‘Sadhvi Niwas’, (where his female disciples were kept), according to state Information and Public Relations Department Deputy Director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media.
“A fibre tunnel too has been located during the search of the dera,” he said.
The fibre tunnel is filled with mud, he said.
“The derawas is connected to Sadhvi Niwas,” he said.
We found a window-like path leading from Dera Awas to Sadhvi Niwas. Team is investigating the same: Dy Dir of Haryana PR Dept Satish Mehra pic.twitter.com/EGfBXGzgSH
— ANI (@ANI) September 9, 2017
“A fire cracker factory has been found inside the Dera premises and it is an illegal factory,” he said, adding that the factory has been sealed.
He said some chemical material to be used in making fire crackers was also found.
During the on-going search, an empty box for cartridges of AK 47 was also recovered, Mehra said.
Hordes of police, paramilitary and civil administration personnel were involved in the mammoth search operation which started yesterday on the direction of Punjab and Haryana High Court.
An unregistered luxury car and some banned currency notes were yesterday seized from the dera of Singh during the sanitisation exercise which also involved forensic examination of his so-called cave where he allegedly used to sexually exploit women.
Besides, some rooms were also sealed and hard disk drives and unlabelled medicines recovered during the 12-hour day long exercise.
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The entire sanitisation process is being videographed and overseen by retired District and Sessions Judge, A K S Pawar, who was appointed as Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday.
Curfew remains in force on the road leading inside the dera headquarters. No unauthorised person was being allowed to go inside the dera premises. However, life remained normal in Sirsa city.
A large number of vehicles including police buses and paramilitary vehicles, Quick Reaction Team vehicles, bomb disposal squad and anti-sabotage team vehicles, carrying cops and paramilitary personnel made their way inside the dera premises this morning, officials said.
Vehicles of the district administration carrying officials drawn from various government departments also made their way inside the dera premises.
Besides, some fire tenders, heavy earth moving machines and tractors have also been pressed into service for the sanitisation exercise.
A number of dera followers who had parted ways with the sect head, have reportedly told the media earlier that except for the dera chief and his close aides, nobody was allowed to enter the ‘Gufa’ or private residence.
The dera, spread over nearly 800 acres, has been divided into ten zones for the purpose of sanitisation and searches, with each zone under the control of a senior officer.
The dera chief, who featured in a few films directed and co-produced by himself, also has some shops in the complex where consumer products launched two years ago under “MSG” brand are sold.