Dera blames Sukhbir Badal, police | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Dera blames Sukhbir Badal, police

Dera Sacha Sauda on Sunday says it was being targeted by ruling politicians at the behest of a powerful liquor mafia in the state.

chandigarh Updated: Nov 27, 2007 19:16 IST

Accusing Punjab's ruling Akali Dal government, and police of hatching a "conspiracy" against Dera Sacha Sauda, the sect on Sunday said it was being targeted by ruling politicians at the behest of a powerful liquor mafia in the state.

Dera spokesman Aditya Arora termed as "a bunch of lies" recent claims of the Punjab police, which circulated photographs of five Dera women followers to all police stations in the state saying they were "dangerous women" who could do anything - including self-immolation, throwing acid on a VIP or blowing themselves up as human bombs before VIP targets.

Arora said that a powerful liquor and drug mafia was behind the "conspiracy" against the sect as it was actively campaigning against liquor and drug addiction in Punjab and other states.

"It is the Punjab government and its (Bathinda) police that have created this theory of human bombs among Dera women. The five women whose photos were circulated even without registering a case are simple, educated teachers and housewives."

"These women have been unnecessarily dragged into all this. We are seeking legal opinion on this matter against the Punjab police," Arora said at a specially convened press conference in Chandigarh.

He said Akal Dal acting president Sukhbir Badal and Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Naunihal Singh were chief conspirators against Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh and sect followers.

The Dera women wing's chief volunteer Himani Insaan challenged police to produce evidence of the five women being involved in any criminal activity, let alone their indulging in immolation or being human bombs.

"We fear that at least a couple of these women, who are completely innocent, will be eliminated by the Punjab police in a fake encounter," Himani said.

Police had this week circulated photographs of five women followers of the Dera in the state's police stations alerting the police force against them. It was indicated that these women could "go to any extent" to harm VIPs. The unnamed targets were obviously Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his MP son Sukhbir Badal and a couple of top Sikh religious leaders.

The move boomeranged on the police when it was revealed that the five women - Rama Rani, Kuldeep Kaur, Veerpal Kaur, Gurcharan Kaur and Usha Rani - were common women and sect followers who had been wrongly projected as suspected criminals.

Arora challenged the Punjab government to set up a judicial commission to probe the controversy around Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, after he was accused of portraying himself like the 10th Sikh guru Gobind Singh in May.

The controversy led to violence in Punjab and other states.