The Haryana Police today issued a lookout notice against the jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief's adopted daughter Honeypreet Insaan and another key aide following apprehensions that they might try to "escape from the country".
The step was taken following questioning of another arrested functionary of the sect in connection with an alleged conspiracy to facilitate Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's escape after he was convicted for raping two disciples, police said here.
Panchkula Police Commissioner A S Chawla said they have to question Honeypreet and Dera spokesperson Aditya Insaan in the wake of new "revelations" and have issued a look out notice against them.
Honepreet is among those considered as likely successor of Ram Rahim. However, a sect leader Vipashna Insaan had said earlier that there was no move to immediately name a successor.
Chawla said, "On being interrogated, Surinder Dhiman Insaan, who was arrested earlier, revealed that Honeypreet Insaan and Aditya Insaan might escape from the country. So we have issued lookout notice against them."
Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who is lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, had been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a CBI court for raping two of his disciples in 2002.
Police are looking into allegations that the Dera chief's aides had colluded with police personnel to try facilitate his escape after he was convicted by a special CBI court in Panchkula.
Airports and bus and railway stations across the country have been put on alert, Chawla said.
Meanwhile, the death toll in the violence and arson after the Dera head's conviction today rose to 41. The total number of deaths in Panchkula was 35 while six persons died in Sirsa, the sect's headquarters, he said.
Five Haryana policemen, who were part of Dera Sacha Sauda chief's security, were charged with sedition and dismissed from service yesterday over the alleged conspiracy.
Honeypreet had accompanied Ram Rahim when he was brought to the special CBI court in Panchkula for the pronouncement of verdict in 15-year-old rape case. She also travelled along with Dera head in a chopper which ferried them to Rohtak from Panchkula after his conviction.
Honeypreet has acted in a film MSG 2 -The Messenger and later gave special appearance in MSG-The Warrior Lion Heart, in which the Dera chief plays the lead role.
Ram Rahim is married to Harjeet Kaur. They have two daughters, Charanpreet and Amanpreet and a son Jasmeet. An FIR was earlier lodged in Panchkula police station following a statement by a newspaper reporter against Aditya and Surinder Dhiman Insaan. The duo have been booked for sedition.
Dhiman was taken into custody yesterday and sent to police remand for a week by a court in Panchkula yesterday.
With family and non-family claimants to the legacy of the disgraced sect chief, there is uncertainty over who will lead the cash-rich sect, though Honeypreet is considered among the frontrunners.
Dera's counsel S K Garg Narwana said that they would soon appeal to the High Court against the CBI court order. Sect insiders say that, as of now, an arrangement needs to be in place to manage the affairs of the sect and to give direction to its followers.
Within the family of the sect's jailed leader, the name of his 33-year-old son, Jasmeet Singh Insan, is being propped up to manage the affairs of the sect in Ram Rahim's absence. Those behind the move include Ram Rahim's aged mother Naseeb Kaur and wife Harjeet Kaur, who normally keep a low profile compared to the rather flashy and even controversial lifestyle of Ram Rahim himself.
The bid to promote Jasmeet's name by the family -- which is said to be now in the Dera complex in Gursar Modia in Rajasthan's Sri Ganganagar district, from where Ram Rahim hails -- is being seen as an attempt to scuttle any move by non-family claimants to take control of the sect or even to manage its affairs.
Jasmeet is the son-in-law of Harminder Singh Jassi, Congress leader and former legislator from Punjab.
Meanwhile, a Sunaria jail inmate, who has come out on bail, told media in Rohtak that no special treatment is given to the Dera head. He said that the Dera head, who is in visible discomfort, seldom eats meals.