Haryana cops take Honeypreet to Bathinda to search ‘hideout’, find ‘nothing’
Local police and other officials said there was no clue found that Honeypreet stayed here after being booked for violence in Haryana’s Panchkula after the Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case on August 25 .Updated: Oct 06, 2017 09:43 IST
Even as the Haryana police searched an alleged hideout of Honeypreet Insan, adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, in Punjab’s Bathinda on Thursday, the local police and other officials said there was no clue found that she stayed here after being booked for violence in Haryana’s Panchkula after the dera head’s conviction in a rape case on August 25 .
A team of the Haryana police comprising 18 cops, led by DSP Mukesh Kumar, brought Honeypreet and her aide Sukhdeep Kaur — both arrested on Tuesday — from Panchkula to Bathinda. They stayed inside the Nayi Basti house, owned by Sukhdeep’s family, for nearly two hours. Sources said the house’s condition didn’t reflect that somebody might have stayed there. “It is up to the Haryana police what they have observed, but our observation is that the conditions don’t reflect that somebody could have stayed there in the past few days. The house did not even have beds,” said an official of the local civil administration.
Bathinda tehsildar Sukhbir Singh Brar, who accompanied the cops as executive magistrate during the search, too said, “As per my observation, nothing incriminating was found in the search.”
A team of the Haryana police comprising 18 cops, led by DSP Mukesh Kumar, brought Honeypreet and her aide Sukhdeep Kaur — both arrested on Tuesday — from Panchkula to Bathinda.
Besides this house, the family owns land and a house in nearby Balluana village, where Resham Singh, an uncle of Sukhdeep’s husband Iqbal Singh, stays now. The rest of the family had shifted to the dera headquarters town Sirsa in Haryana several years ago, it is learnt. “Haryana police team planned to take Honeypreet and Sukhdeep to the Balluana house, but didn’t, and went back after searching the house in Nayi Basti,” said Bathinda SSP Navin Singla. About the “hideout” theory, he said, “We will be in a position to say something only after we receive any official communication from Haryana”, adding, “Still, there is doubt if she stayed here.”
Sukhdeep’s family has a close association with the dera as her husband Iqbal is seen with Ram Rahim in a group photo at the Balluana house. The dera’s second head Shah Satnam Singh (Ram Rahim’s immediate predecessor) too had visited the house once.
‘Key man rounded up’
Later in the day, Panchkula police commissioner AS Chawla said the police had “rounded up” a man who gave “a confirmed lead” that Honeypreet was staying “near Bathinda”. Not revealing the name, he said the man’s interrogation was underway and, if need be, he may be arrested for further investigation.
Sukhdeep’s family has a close association with the dera as her husband Iqbal is seen with Ram Rahim in a group photo at the Balluana house.
He claimed that the police had figured out Honeypreet’s hideouts from August 25 — after she left Rohtak jail where Ram Rahim is lodged — to September 2. “Investigation is underway to join the remaining dots,” he added. Sources said she may be taken to the dera head’s native district Sriganganagar in Rajasthan, where she allegedly stayed before taking shelter in Bathinda.
Honeypreet is booked on charges of sedition, inciting violence and for alleged involvement in a conspiracy to help the dera head escape after he was convicted by the special CBI court on August 25 for raping two female disciples. After her arrest with Sukhdeep, police had said Sukhdeep “confirmed” that Honeypreet was staying with her in Bathinda.
Meanwhile, before reaching Bathinda, both women were taken to Rampura sadar police station in the vicinity. SSP Singla said the Haryana team had to complete some documentary formalities and get appointed an executive magistrate for the search. Earlier, while journeying from Panchkula, 225km away, they made an hour-long stopover at Bhawanigarh police station in Sangrur, too, around 9.30 in the morning.
The Haryana cops did not talk to the media, but local DSP Sandeep Wadehra said, “In such long journeys, teams often stay at police stations which are on the main roads. There is no report of her stay at Sangrur.” Meanwhile, residents of the area gathered in large numbers to see Honeypreet.
First Published: Oct 06, 2017 09:41 IST