Dera violence: High court asks Haryana govt to form special team to arrest Aditya Insan
The team has also been directed to make efforts to arrest 16 other accused in the 2017 violence in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana.punjab Updated: Sep 27, 2018 11:36 IST
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday directed Haryana to constitute a special four-member team to nab Aditya Insan, a key aide of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, accused of inciting violence in Panchkula in August 2017 after the CBI court sentenced Ram Rahim to 20-year jail in two rape cases.
The high court full bench presided over by justice Surya Kant wondered how Insan had been able to evade arrest for over a year now and sought a status report highlighting efforts made by police to nab him so far and further steps taken by the special team till the next date of hearing.
The team has also been directed to make efforts to arrest 16 other accused in the 2017 violence in Panchkula and other parts of Haryana.
Ram Rahim was convicted on August 25, 2017 by the special CBI court in Panchkula for raping two disciples in 2002 on the dera premises. His conviction resulted in widespread violence in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh. In Panchkula alone, more than 35 people had died.
The high court, which was earlier hearing a 2017 petition filed ahead of Ram Rahim’s conviction seeking direction to maintain law and order in Panchkula, later started monitoring of probe by Haryana into the widespread violence.
Aditya Insan was seen inciting crowd to go after security forces during Panchkula violence. The bespectacled ophthalmologist has been the most visible face of the dera for the past 20 years. He has been booked under sedition charges, a non-bailable offence that can lead to life imprisonment. He vanished immediately after the violence.
An award of Rs 5 lakh has been announced for giving information on Aditya Insan.
Similarly, awards of Rs 1 lakh and Rs 50,000 have been announced for information on Abhijit and Jasbir Akali, who are also considered close to dera head.
The court suggested that police should take help of experts such as cyber professionals to nab him. Otherwise it would complicate matters for the prosecution, the court said.
Earlier, senior advocate Anupam Gupta had pointed out that state agencies appear to be doing paper work only such as attachment of properties and ‘real police efforts’ are missing and they have gone slow.
The high court also gave time till November 28 to the vice-chancellor of Pt BD Sharma University of Health Sciences, Rohtak to give final report on testimonials of medical and paramedical staff of dera-run health institutes at Sirsa. An interim report in this regard was given on Wednesday.
On the plea of Dera-run institutes, the court directed the panel led by Sirsa deputy commissioner to examine each and every demand raised by these institutes to check for genuineness and release requisite amount from sealed dera accounts to pay salaries, fee of students etc.
Meanwhile, the government has told the court that the special investigation team (SIT) could not find any evidence of Dera Sacha Sauda and its functionaries in the case of 25 missing people, associated with the dera.
‘Data recovery from hard discs impossible’
The Haryana government told the high court that it has failed to retrieve the data from hard discs seized from the dera headquarters in Sirsa during sanitisation exercise carried out after the August 2017 violence under the supervision of a court-appointed commissioner.
The CBI too was approached for the purpose. However, it conveyed that 65 hard discs of CCTVs installed on dera premises were damaged mechanically with the intention of destroying the data and the recovery is completely impossible. These hard discs were being examined to check whether certain assets were removed from the dera premises after the violence. Some other electronic devices were examined by a state agency but it did not find any clue of movement of assets.
Meanwhile, the court allowed the Haryana Police to de-seal the electronic devices sealed by the court commissioner at the time of sanitisation exercise. The request for the same was made by government on Wednesday.
The court has asked Haryana to share details of data extracted from these devices by the enforcement directorate and income tax department for investigations launched in the wake of allegations of money laundering and violation of tax laws by the dera.
Both the central government agencies and Haryana have been asked to submit status reports on their probe on analysis of the data.
The court was also told that a total of 240 FIRs were registered in connection with the August 25 violence across the state and in 207 cases, challans have been presented and 1,484 people arrested.
Also, 16 people have been declared proclaimed offenders. Regarding the case of inciting violence registered in Panchkula, the SIT says out of 39 arrested accused, challans have been presented against 36.
First Published: Sep 27, 2018 11:36 IST