Sedition and attempt to murder charges have been slapped against seven persons, including five Haryana police personnel, who were part of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief's security paraphernalia when he had arrived at Panchkula to appear in a CBI court on August 25.
"Sedition charge has been slapped against seven persons, including five Haryana police personnel," Karambir Singh, Inspector, Panchkula Police (Sector-5), said today.
They had also been charged for attempt to murder, he added.
The seven security personnel of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had allegedly tried to free him when the self-styled godman was brought outside the Panchkula Court complex on Friday, after the special CBI court convicted him in a 15-year-old rape case, the police said.
They allegedly got into a scuffle with the Haryana police when the Dera chief was being taken to the Western Command, from where he was to be taken to the Rohtak jail in a chopper.
However, the securitymen of the Dera chief were overpowered by the policemen.
They were produced before the court yesterday which sent them to a seven-day police remand, said Singh.
The Haryana police personnel, who were arrested, were in the ranks of sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector, head constable and constable, he added.
Panchkula's Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manbir Singh, who assumed charge today, said a number of vehicles, including a fire engine, which were part of the Dera chief's cavalcade, were impounded on Friday.
Asked if any inflammable chemical was recovered from the fire engine, the DCP said, "There are two large tanks in the fire engine, which belongs to the Dera. A foul smell was emanating from the tanks. We have sent the substance recovered from the tanks to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory." The Dera chief, who enjoyed a "Z plus" security cover which was withdrawn after his conviction, had travelled from Sirsa to Panchkula in a convoy of vehicles on Friday.
He was convicted in a 15-year-old rape case by the CBI court. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced tomorrow.
Authorities identify Dera assets
Authorities in Punjab and Haryana have started identifying movable and immovable assets of the Sirsa-headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda on the directions of the high court, officials said today.
Revenue officials of the two states have been compiling details of properties and assets of the Dera, the quasi- religious sect headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, convicted of raping his two followers.
Banks have been asked to provide details of accounts of the Dera.
"A list of the Dera's assets, incomes, bank accounts and properties is being prepared on a war footing," one of the officials connected with the exercise in the twin states of Haryana and Punjab said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the two states to submit by Tuesday a list of the Dera's properties and assets which can be attached "in case it is found that they and their followers are responsible for damaging properties".
After the Dera chief was convicted by a CBI court in Panchkula on August 25, his followers went on rampage setting fire to vehicles and railway stations, and damaging public and private properties. Thirty-six people were killed and more than 250 injured in violence in Panchkula and Sirsa.
The high court had refrained the Dera from transferring, selling or leasing out its properties.
The Dera has 'Nam Charcha Ghars' (congregation centres) in many parts of Haryana and Punjab.
While the sect's headquarter is located in Sirsa in Haryana, its biggest congregation centre in Punjab is at Salabtpura in Bathinda.