Two minors rescued, unregistered car seized in search operations at Dera headquarters

Officials entered the Dera Sacha Sauda HQ with over 5,000 paramilitary personnel while the district administration shut down mobile internet services to avert backlash from supporters.

Published: 09th September 2017 07:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th September 2017 07:48 AM   |  A+A-

A Lexus car without number plate found at Dera Sacha Sauda during a search operation being taken out by police in Sirsa on Friday.(Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

CHANDIGARH: Six children were rescued by security forces during a search and sanitisation operation at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa, Haryana on Friday. Two of the children are minors and have been handed over to the Child Welfare Committee.

A luxury car without a registration plate and unaccounted money were also seized from the headquarters.

Some rooms were sealed and hard disk drives and unlabelled medicines were recovered, said  Haryana’s Information and Public Relations deputy director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media.

“We found six boys, two of whom are minor from Upkar colony. The minor boys hail from Kaithal (in Haryana) and UP. Regarding other four we are asking them about their whereabouts and will later send them home,” Mehra said.

The exercise is being conducted amid tight security by police and paramilitary personnel, besides senior officials of various government departments.

“Some rooms have been sealed, computer hard disk drives, an unregistered Lexus car, an OB van, Rs 7,000 in demonetised currency, Rs 12,000 cash and some pharmaceutical medicines without labels or a brand name are among other items which have been seized,” he said.

Mehra said forensic teams from Karnal and IIT Roorkee, Uttarakhand also inspected the so-called ‘gufa’ (cave) at the dera. Plastic money being used inside the Dera HQ by workers and followers were discovered by the forces. Sources claimed that nearly 1,500 designer dresses of the Dera chief were also found in a room, during the search operation.

The process, which began around 8 am, involved hordes of police, 5, 000 paramilitary personnel and civil administration personnel. The process was videographed and monitored by retired district and sessions judge AKS Pawar, who was appointed as Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to oversee the exercise.

A report of the whole sanitisation process will be submitted to the High Court by the court commissioner.

The Dera, spread over nearly 800 acres, has been divided into five zones for the purpose of sanitisation and searches, with each zone under the control of a senior officer. More than 50 locksmiths were employed to help the forces break the locks in the Dera HQ.

The premises of the Dera, whose chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was jailed for 20 years in two rape cases in August,  houses educational institutions, markets, a hospital, stadium, recreational areas and houses.

Curfew remained in force on roads leading to the Dera headquarters. The roads remained blocked. Mobile Internet services have been suspended in Sirsa district until September 10 to curb the spread of rumours in view of the drive.

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