A Special Investigation Team of the Haryana police today questioned Dera Sacha Sauda chairperson Vipassana Insan in connection with several issues including the violence that broke out in Panchkula and Sirsa following the sect head's conviction in a rape case.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Sirsa Police questioned her for more than three hours, a senior police official said. The Dera chairperson was also asked if she was in contact with Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's adopted daughter Honeypreet, against whom a lookout notice has been issued. Vipassana Insan arrived at the police post at around 2.30 pm, the official said.
The Dera chairperson was questioned at length and asked about various incidents pertaining to the violence following the sect head's conviction, the police official said. She was asked as to how such a large gathering of Dera followers collected at Panchkula before the day of the verdict.
The police also questioned her about the people behind the violence in Sirsa following the conviction. The SIT was headed by Dabwali DSP Kuldeep Beniwal.
Earlier today, Haryana DGP B S Sandhu said that a notice summoning the Dera chairperson had been sent.
The DGP told reporters in Panchkula that the police was making efforts to nab Honeypreet, and key Dera functionaries, Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan.
"We have sent police teams to various places to track them," he said.
Efforts to trace Honeypreet were initiated after the questioning of Surinder Dhiman Insan, a sect functionary who was arrested on charges of instigating violence, in connection with an alleged conspiracy to help the Dera chief escape after he was convicted of raping two disciples.
Violence erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana and parts of Punjab and Delhi on August 25 following Ram Rahim Singh's conviction. The mayhem left 35 dead in Panchkula and six in Sirsa.
Sandhu rubbished reports suggesting that Honeypreet had fled to Nepal.
"We are hopeful of arresting Honeypreet, Aditya and Pawan Insan soon," he said.
Asked to comment on reports that Honeypreet had stayed at the Dera at Sirsa for two days after August 25, DGP said, "we are getting this fact verified."
To a query, he said the police have no input that there was a threat to Honeypreet's life.
Asked whether a Punjab politician's name had cropped up in connection with the ongoing investigations in the Dera issue, DGP said, "if his role will come up in the ongoing investigations he will also be asked to join the probe." The DGP also said that the politician had come to meet him in his office, but he was not present at that time.
The police was not and will not act under any kind of pressure in the case, the DGP assured.
"Independent investigation is going on, let me assure you, there is no pressure. We will act against any person whose name is coming or will come up in this investigation," he said.
Aasked if it was justified to allow Honeypreet Insan to go along with Ram Rahim in the helicopter to Sunaria jail after he was convicted, DGP said, "it was part of a strategy." An extraordinary case demands extraordinary measures, he said.
"Have you seen in India's history a convict being sent to jail by a helicopter. We were dealing with extra ordinary case, therefore, it was part of strategy," he said.
Asked if there was any lapse on part of police initially allowing time to some of the accused to evade arrest, the DGP said that Haryana police's priority was to establish peace and normalcy.
"Investigation was second part of the whole thing, but we are nabbing the accused. We are hopeful that every accused will be arrested," he said.
Referring to a list of 43 'wanted' persons released by Haryana police in connection with incidents of violence, the DGP said that if the accused continue to evade arrest they will be declared as proclaimed offenders.
Sandhu said that so far 1092 arrests have been carried out in connection with incidents of violence after Dera chief's conviction.
Asked about the presence of paramilitary forces in the state as heavy deployment was made at several sensitive places including Panchkula, Sirsa and Rohtak for the past one month, DGP said, "we have 33 Companies of paramilitary forces with us till September 20. We will soon review and decide how many we want to keep".
To another question, he said the special CBI judge who awarded 20 years jail term to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has been given 'Z' cover security.
"His security has been further strengthened. Moreover, we also keep on reviewing the security which is provided from time to time," he said.
He also said that a bullet proof vehicle has been given to the judge.