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Dera violence: Ram Rahim’s gunman turns witness against Honeypreet, 14 others

He quoted in his statement that he saw the accused hatching conspiracy at Sirsa dera on August 17 night to perpetrate arson and free Ram Rahim in case of adverse verdict.

punjab Updated: Dec 08, 2017 09:48 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
ram Rahim,dera violence,Honeypreet
Honeypreet Insan being produced in Panchkula court On Thursday.(Sant Arora/HT)

One of the gunmen of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s has turned witness for the Panchkula police against the sect head’s adopted daughter Honeypreet and 14 others in connection with the August 25 Panchkula arson case.

Vikas Kumar, named as witness number 20, has been quoted in his statement that he had seen Honeypreet, dera chief spokesperson Aditya Insaan along with others at the dera headquarters on August 17 night hatching a conspiracy to perpetrate violence in Panchkula.

A Haryana police personnel, he was deputed at the dera as a gunman since 2008.

He is quoted as saying that it was unanimously decided to build up a large crowd of dera followers ahead of the CBI court verdict in Panchkula to put pressure on the state government and the judiciary for a favourable verdict in the rape case.

It was then planned that the followers will be incited for violence and will even clash with security forces in case of an adverse order against the self-styled godman who will be freed at any cost, he is quoted as saying in the statement.

He then says the dera followers were called from Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and other places and told to carry along petrol, stones, sticks and umbrellas.

Also, a decision was also taken to carry weapons in large quantity in the dera chief’s cavalcade that was to accompany him on the day of verdict.

The Panchkula dera in-charge Chamkaur Singh and others were given responsibility to manage the crowd and incite them for violence while Ram Rahim’s personal assistant (PA) Rajesh Kumar was deputed to free the sect head from the court complex in case of an adverse verdict, the statement reads. Honeypreet was oversee everything while remaining with the dera chief, it says.

‘Was present in court complex’

Vikas was present in the court complex in Panchkula when Ram Rahim was convicted, the statement reads.

As per planning, he saw Honeypreet coming out of the complex and signalling to the dera chief’s PA Rakesh about the conviction, it says. Minutes after, the dera committee members and followers started vandalising properties and attacking security personnel but did not succeed in freeing the self-styled godman, he is quoted as saying.

He did not reveal the incident since he was scared, Vikas’ statement reads.

His statement was recorded on October 11 and is part of the chargesheet submitted last week in court against Honeypreet and 14 others.

Why his testimony is important during trial?

Vikas’ testimony in the court is vital since he is probably the only witness in the list of 50 witnesses in the police chargesheet who can claim to be privy to the conspiracy inside the dera.

Other witnesses, including journalists of vernacular newspapers, know of the events on ground during the violence after the dera chief’s conviction.

Vikas is also quoted in the statement that the dera administrator Vipanasa was also present in the August 17 meeting but the police have not arrested her yet.

Honeypreet, others get copy of chargesheet

Jailedself-styled godman Ram Rahim’s adopted daughter Honeypreet and other accused, who have been charged with criminal conspiracy and sedition, appeared in the court of chief judicial magistrate where they were provided a copy of the chargesheet. She will now appear in the court on December 11 where her lawyer will scrutinise the police chargesheet and other documents. Then, the matter will be sent to the sessions courts for framing of charges.

First Published: Dec 08, 2017 09:18 IST