Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim’s conviction: Escape bid ‘indeed’ made, but IGP’s theory under lens
Amid this cacophony, an official privy to the details told HT, a handful of officials who were in command of security were aware of a route to be taken to transport him safely to the cantonment area.Updated: Sep 01, 2017 09:40 IST
The town was already in turmoil when Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was flown to Rohtak jail in a special chopper following his conviction by a local CBI court in rape case last Friday. But different versions of what transpired when he was taken from the Panchkula court complex to a helipad in the nearby cantonment is making the event more dramatic.
Speaking to the media in Gurgaon on Wednesday, KK Rao, inspector general (IG) of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) of Haryana police, said that as soon as the self-styled godman was convicted he demanded a “red bag” that he had brought along from Sirsa. “It was actually a signal for his men to spread the news of his conviction among supporters so that they could resort to causing disturbance,” Rao told reporters, adding, “As the bag was taken out of the vehicle, sounds of teargas shells being lobbed 2-3 km from the site were heard. It was then that we understood that there was some meaning behind the signal.”
He then told media that the police decided to make him sit in the vehicle of DCP (crime) Sumit Kumar (posted in Gurgaon) instead of the vehicle he had arrived in. “On the way, there was also an attempt to free him by his official security guards but an alert team led by Sumit foiled the bid,” he said. When HT on Thursday called Rao to verify his claims, he refused to comment further.
However, state police chief, DGP BS Sandhu told HT that Rao was not part of the dera chief’s escort after his conviction since he was posted in the court’s outer periphery. “Whatever observation he has narrated is being investigated by senior officials,” he said.
He added that there was “definitely an attempt to free the dera chief by his security guards, who were then arrested from the spot and taken in to police custody and currently being interrogated.
The DGP further said police’s major concern at the time was to first bring the dera chief to the court that day from Sirsa, and then shift him to the Rohtak jail following his conviction — “that was achieved”.
Amid this cacophony, an official privy to the details told HT, a handful of officials who were in command of security were aware of a route to be taken to transport him safely to the cantonment area. “The dera was in a cavalcade of five vehicles and there was a decision to take him to cantonment area via Red Bishop hotel. But three vehicles, one of which carried him, suddenly took another route, and that’s where his guards ambushed for an escape bid,” the officer said. He said two guards even hanged on to the vehicle but were overpowered.
DCP Sumit, who was driving the dera chief, only said he had done “what was required”.