Dera head held, released on bail
Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Monday formally joined investigation in the criminal case registered against him in Bathinda — his sect headquarters in Sirsa.
A case under Section 295-A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was registered against him on May 20, for allegedly hurting religious sentiments, after he appeared at a congregation “attired like Guru Gobind Singh”.
A police officer from Bathinda told the Hindustan Times that they had formally placed the sect head under arrest on Monday, but he was released on a bail bond of Rs 1 lakh.
This comes in view of the Punjab and Haryana High Court order staying his arrest till August 6, when the case next comes up for hearing. Singh’s passport has been confiscated.
Investigating Officer Harwinder Singh Virk, who is also the city SHO, Bathinda, headed the team of 20 to Sirsa, where they met their counterparts at Sirsa Sadar police station.
Meanwhile, the CBI — investigating murder cases against Gurmeet Singh — will submit its “sealed report” before the Punjab and Haryana High Court here, sources said. The Dera chief is allegedly involved in the murders of journalist Ram Chander Chatrapati in November 2000 and Ranjit Singh, a manager of the Dera in 2002.
The Bathinda police had already procured arrest warrants in the case. But, the Dera chief had moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court for a stay. The High Court had directed the Dera head to join the investigation, which he had not. The rulebook demanded that the Bathinda police ask him to do so.
With the visit on Monday, officials said that they could make a stronger case for their opposition to the stay on his arrest.Senior police officials, seeking anonymity, confirmed the development.