Trouble for Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh increased on Friday with Bathinda police receiving formal sanction from the state government to arrest him even as the sect moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking quashing of the non-bailable arrest warrants issued against him by a local court.
"We have been granted sanction by the Punjab government to take cognisance under the relevant sanctions," Bathinda police chief Naunihal Singh told PTI over phone.
"As per the court directive the requisite sanction to police has been granted. The order containing formal sanction will be placed before the court in Chandigarh very soon for further decision and direction from the judge," he said.
The development came as Dera Sacha Sauda moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court seeking quashing of the Bathinda court's non-bailable arrest warrant against its head on charges of hurting the religious sentiments of Sikhs.
The Dera has requested the court to take its application against the Bathinda court directive for hearing on Friday itself.
Earlier in the day, the sect's spokesman Aditya Insaan had said the "sect will either seek anticipatory bail for the Dera chief or quashing of the June 20 order of the Duty Magistrate A L Khitchi, who had issued conditional bailable arrest warrant against the Dera chief".
"A three-member panel of advocates has been constituted to plead the case of the Dera in the Bathinda court," a Dera spokesman said.
A case was registered against Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh last month for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of sikhs following, which a court in Bathinda issued conditional non-bailable warrants against the Dera head.