I-T officials reach Sirsa to carry out search at Dera Sacha Sauda
However to get access to dera records, already sealed by police, I-T officials were told to get permission of local court, which fixed October 21 for hearing in this regard.india Updated: Oct 18, 2017 13:30 IST
Over a month after the security forces carried out “sanitisation” of Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, a
team of the investigation wing of income tax (I-T) department on Tuesday arrived here to conduct a search at the sprawling commune.
Sources said the team, led by I-T assistant director Data Ram, reached the city in the morning. It first visited the office of the superintendent of police (SP) to access the dera records, which were sealed by the Sirsa police during the three-day sanitisation exercise last month. The exercise was carried out in the wake of conviction of dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in two rape cases. Ram Rahim is currently undergoing 20-year imprisonment in Rohtak’s Sunaria jail.
However, I-T officials were told that all the documents seized from the dera were sealed as per the orders of the Punjab and Haryana high court and that they will have to secure permission from the local court to get access to these documents.
The team then moved an application in the court of chief judicial magistrate, Sirsa, seeking permission in this regard. The court has fixed October 21 for hearing in this regard.
However, the I-T team did not entertain queries of the mediapersons regarding their visit and search of the dera.
Following conviction of Ram Rahim On August 25, dera followers had gone on a rampage damaging and setting on fire public and private properties in Panchkula and some others parts of Haryana and Punjab.
During the sanitisation of the dera that was conducted from September 8 to 10, the security forces had unearthed an illegal firecracker factory and found a cache of explosives, an empty box of AK-47 rifle cartridges, 84 cartons of firecrackers and chemicals from the factory.
They also discovered a secret passage connecting the dera chief’s home with a hostel for woman disciples, another tunnel lined with fibreglass. The sect chief lived in an area spread over 100 acres, which has bungalows of his family members. Police, paramilitary and civil administration officials were involved in the search carried out on the direction of the high court.
The process, overseen by retired district and sessions judge AKS Pawar, was videographed.
First Published: Oct 17, 2017 13:55 IST