Police constitute SIT to trace 25 persons gone missing from dera

Chandigarh

In fresh trouble for the Dera Sacha Sauda, already in the midst of controversies ever since its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted and jailed for 20 year for rape, the police on Saturday ordered a probe to find over 25 persons gone missing from the dera.

Sirsa SP Ashwin Shenvi today constituted an SIT of Crime Investigating Agency (CIA) of the district to probe the matter.

The SIT would be monitored by DSP (Headquarters) Vijay Kakkar.

Read: Honeypreet, two other aides of Ram Rahim to be declared POs

“Nearly 20 applications have been received by the police since August 25 when Ram Rahim was convicted for rape of sadhvis. The complainants have alleged that their relatives have gone missing from the dera.

“Some have even suspected that their kin could have been murdered and bodies disposed of. Besides these, 11 FIRs were registered from 2011 to 2017 alleging people had gone missing from the dera. They are still untraced. Since some of the new applications are with regard to same persons who had lodged FIRs too, we have complaints of nearly 25 people missing from the sect headquarters,” Shenvi told The Tribune.

Among some women missing from the dera are Veena Rani (32), from Tohana town of Fatehabad district, who went missing on July 26, 2016; Priyanka (26) , from Barwala town of Hisar, who is missing since May 29, 2011; Santosh, aka Lali (36), from Bhirdana village of Fatehabad, who has been missing since April 24, 2011; Renu (22), from Charkhi Dadri, missing since 2009; and Lali (28), missing from the Dera Sacha Sauda since April 28, 2012.

Among some men missing from the dera are Bittu Singh (24), who went missing on January 25, 2011; Satpal Singh (32) from Mansa (Punjab), who went missing on May 17, 2013; Arjun (21), from Kaithal, who is missing since July 6, 2014, and Shish Pal (17) of Yamunanagar, who is missing from the dera since August 3, 2014.

“The police will question the dera management and if necessary, the jailed dera chief can also be questioned by the SIT to find out what happened to the missing persons,” said Shenvi.

Lekh Ram Dhot, a senior advocate from Sirsa town, however, alleged that the number could be much more.

He alleged that the police has never shown the courage to investigate such crimes committed in the dera till Ram Rahim was at the helm, though allegations were levelled by his former sadhus that people were killed and buried in the dera on Ram Rahim’s orders.

“In February 2010, when the CBI booked Ram Rahim for murder of the sect’s former manager Faqir Chand in 1991, his followers had gone on rampage — burning buses in Punjab and Haryana. Since then, the police have never entertained any complaints of the families of persons who went missing in dera,” he added.

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