Tunnels, skeletons, luxury cars and more: All that’s tumbled out of Dera HQ
The sanitisation process of the Dera headquarters in Sirsa began on Friday.Updated: Sep 09, 2017 19:33 IST
Secret tunnels. Plastic coins. Luxury cars. Explosives.
These are just some of the things uncovered by security agencies and forensic officials as they comb through Dera Sacha Sauda’s 600-acre headquarters at Sirsa in Haryana.
The sanitisation process began on Friday morning amid tight security in light of the Dera followers’ violent rampage that held Chandigarh hostage after their disgraced chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced to twenty years in jail for raping two women.
The Dera’s sprawling headquarters include a township of its own, with schools, a sports village, a hospital, a shopping mall and a cinema hall. The property is also home to an ostentatious “7-star MSG resort” with replicas of Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Kremlin and Disney World inside.
The scale of search operations is huge -- officials entered the premises with a security cover of commandos, police canines and 4,000 paramilitary soldiers. More than 16 checkpoints have been set up to monitor activity and the district administration shut down mobile internet services for two days to thwart backlash from Dera members.
Here is a closer look at everything that was discovered at the Dera headquarters during search operations:
Tunnel from Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s house to the sadhvi’s chambers
On Day 2 of the search,two secret tunnels were found inside the Dera campus. A window-shaped tunnel that connected Ram Rahim’s private residence — also known as Baba ki gufa — to the sadhvis’ residence. The ‘gufa’ is where the women were allegedly raped by Gurmeet ram Rahim. The other muddy path opened some 5 km away from the Dera premises.
Explosives and firecrackers factory
An illegal explosives factory used to manufacture fire crackers was found inside the Dera Sacha Sauda premises. The factory was immediately sealed by the police, and the explosives and fire-crackers were seized.
Dera has its own ‘coins’ or plastic tokens that could be exchanged in lieu of actual currency . The coins are engraved with the words ‘Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera hi Asara, Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa’. These Dera coins can be used in shops in and around the Dera campus.
The shops themselves have ‘sach’ prefixed to their names, and have different colour codes for the coins.
A day before the search operations started, Dera’s official mouthpiece, the ‘Sach Kahoon’ newspaper carried a report saying that human remains were buried inside the campus premises.
The Dera newspaper said the human skeletons were ‘donations’ as sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh encouraged followers to donate the remains for burial and prevent these from being immersed in rivers etc., causing pollution. The sect said such skeletons were buried inside the Sirsa headquarters and trees grown over them.
Hundreds of pairs of shoes, designer clothing and caps, said to belong to the Dera chief, were also recovered.
Lexus car, OB van
In the initial stages of the search, security officials recovered a luxury Lexus car without a number plate that was sent to the police headquarters. An OB van was also found.
Computers, hard disk, old currency notes
The sanitisation process also yielded several computers, hard disks and an unknown amount in old currency notes. A walkie-taklie said to belong to Gurmeet Ram Rahim was also discovered. Forensic experts have been called in from Roorkee to evaluate all items.
First Published: Sep 09, 2017 18:42 IST