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Saturday, Aug 17, 2019

Honeypreet Insan arrested: 10 things we know about Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s closest aide

Honeypreet Insan, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, rose through the Dera ranks because of her proximity to Ram Rahim.

india Updated: Oct 03, 2017 16:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Honeypreet Insan, in a still from MSG The Warrior Lion Heart, where she acted along side Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Honeypreet Insan, in a still from MSG The Warrior Lion Heart, where she acted along side Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Honeypreet Insan, convicted Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s adopted daughter and closest aide, was arrested by Haryana police on Tuesday. Honeypreet was on the run since Singh’s conviction for rapes on August 25 and was wanted by the Haryana police in connection with the riots that followed the sentencing.

“Papa’s angel, philanthropist, director, editor and actress… Passionate to transform my Rockstar Papa’s directions into actions”. This is how Honeypreet Insan described herself on Facebook. But here are ten things we know about the Dera chief’s ‘daughter’:

1) Honeypreet’s real name is Priyanka Taneja. Her word was considered Singh’s decision within the Dera and she has even acted with the flamboyant 50-year-old rape convict in several films. Honeypreet had a massive following on Facebook, where her page has almost 500,000 likes.

2) Honeypreet, who is in her thirties, is from Fatehabad near Hisar. Dera followers don’t know her exact age but say she rose through the sect’s ranks because of her proximity to Singh.

3) Priyanka was given her present name after the dera chief got her married to Vishwas Gupta, a Dera follower from Sirsa, in 1999. Dera insiders claim that when Honeypreet complained to Singh that her in-laws were demanding dowry, he adopted her as his daughter in 2009 and made Vishwas his son-in-law, which gave a big boost to his business. But soon Gupta fell out with his father-in-law, and in 2011 approached the Punjab and Haryana HC to seek the custody of his wife from the Dera chief.

4) She caught media attention when she accompanied Singh to the CBI court in Panchkula on August 25. Insiders say she became his shadow in the past few years. The Dera’s website on her introduces her as a prodigy of sorts who learnt editing, direction and acting without any training. “When her dad watched her putting so much of hard work and learning directing skills so fast, he thought of giving her a chance to debut as a director in MSG The Warrior Lion Heart,” says the website.

5) In 2015, Honeypreet started directing and acting in Singh’s movies. Sources say at a meeting of volunteers, he announced that she could be a candidate for his seat. Even now, her word carries a lot of weight in the Dera.

6) After Gurmeet Singh was convicted on August 25, Honeypreet was absconding for the past 38 days. The Haryana police put her on top of their list of 43 people wanted in connection with the violence and riots that broke out after Singh’s conviction. On September 19, Haryana police charged Honeypreet with allegedly inciting violence and sedition for allegedly plotting to help Singh escape.

7) Honeypreet filed an anticipatory bail petition in court on September 25. The Delhi high court, where the plea was filed, rejected the petition and asked Honeypreet to surrender. Her counsel told the court she was willing to join the investigation but wanted protection from arrest.

8) Honeypreet’s former husband, Vishwas Gupta publicly accused her and Ram Rahim of having illicit relations and said their “father-daughter relationship” was a sham to fool followers. Gupta also claimed that Honeypreet was never legally adopted and Ram Rahim had threatened to kill him.

9) In an interview to a TV channel on Tuesday, Honeypreet said she had not been absconding, but coming to terms with Singh’s conviction. She also refuted allegations that she had left the country or that Singh had sexually abused her.

10) Honeypreet was arrested soon after her TV appearance from the Zirakpur-patiala highway in Punjab. She may be produced in Panchkula district court late on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

First Published: Oct 03, 2017 16:24 IST

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