Panchkula arson: Journalists, councillor, cops, officials among 50 witnesses
A senior official said since the arrest of many dera members is still awaited.india Updated: Dec 01, 2017 13:21 IST
Journalists, a local councillor, executives of mobile service providers, cops and government officials besides villagers from the rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Singh’s ancestral village are in the list of 50 witnesses the police have submitted in their chargesheet in connection with Panchkula arson.
The 970 page charge-sheet, which has named Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of jailed dera chief, as a main conspirator in the violence, has a Panchkula councillor, two local former sarpanches who will depose as witnesses in court.
Then there are at least four executives of mobile service companies who are likely to depose to confirm the mobile locations of the accused during the violence that claimed nearly 40 lives soon after the dera head’s conviction on August 25.
Also, as many as 25 police personnel, including members of the special task force which is investigating the case and arrested several dera functionaries, figure in the list.
Then there are people from the dera chief’s ancestral village Gurusar Modia in Rajasthan’s Ganganagar district where Honeypreet was said to have stayed during her 38-day hideout before her arrest on October 4.
The testimony of two reporters of a Hindi daily is being considered vital in the case. Key dera functionarie Aditya Insan and Surinder Dhiman were booked for sedition and rioting three days after the violence after both the journalists stood by their news report that the two were involved in inciting the mob.
More witnesses likely
The police have not ruled out adding more witnesses during the course of their investigation. A senior official said since the arrest of many dera members is still awaited, the number of witnesses will go up as they will file supplementary challans.
In the charge-sheet, the police claimed Honeypreet revealed the entire plot leading to the violence.
Honeypreet has been quoted in the charge-sheet telling the police that she and key dera member Aditya Insan conspired to gather dera followers and then incited them for violence with help of other dera members to free Ram Rahim after his conviction.
Lodged in the Ambala Central Jail as part of her judicial custody, she is likely to be produced in the court on Friday.
The common FIR, registered at the Sector 5 police station, was later used to book and arrest core and executive committee members of the dera, including Honeypreet.