Highlights:

  • SIT of Punjab Police reached Rohtak’s Jail to interrogate Dera Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
  • Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been in custody since August 25, 2017, when he was imprisoned for raping two women followers
  • Security arrangements was strengthened at the Sunaria jail premises and only vehicles with prior permissions were permitted

On Monday morning, a special investigation team (SIT) of Punjab Police reached at Rohtak’s Sunaria Jail to interrogate Dera Sacha Sauda leader Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for his rumored role in the theft of a ‘bir (copy of Guru Granth Sahib)’ from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in Faridkot district on June 1, 2015, in Sacrilege Case.

A jail official stated that four members of the SIT, headed by inspector general Surinder Pal Singh Parmar reached the Sunaria jail premises at 9:45 am together with the senior superintendent of police MS Bhullar, deputy superintendent of police Lakhvir Singh and inspector Dalbir Singh.

The official continued, “The SIT has prepared a list of questions for Gurmeet Ram Rahim and they will interrogate him. It depends upon the SIT and the accused how long the interrogation process runs.”

Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been in custody since August 25, 2017, when he was imprisoned for raping two women followers and sentenced to 20 years in jail. Later, he was detained for the murders of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati and Ranjit Singh, a former Dera manager, in which he received a life sentence.

Security arrangements were strengthened at the Sunaria jail premises and only vehicles with prior permissions were permitted to enter the premises. SIT head Surinder Pal Singh Parmar has conveyed a message to Rohtak deputy commissioner Manoj Sheoran, citing that on the direction of the Punjab and Haryana high court. The SIT members are likely to visit the jail for questioning Ram Rahim on November 8.

A Faridkot court in Punjab had issued production warrants against the accused Ram Rahim in the case of sacrilege at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered Punjab Police to question Ram Rahim in Rohtak jail itself and asked the jail authorities to prepare arrangements for the SIT to question the Dera head.

In July 2020, following the arrest of seven Dera followers, the SIT headed by the former inspector general of police Ranbir Singh Khatra had mentioned Ram Rahim and three other national committee members of the Dera namely Sandeep Bareta, Pardeep Kler, and Harsh Dhuri, as accused in the case.

According to reports, the ‘Bir’ was stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village gurudwara on June 1, 2015. On October 12, 2015, torn pages of that ‘Bir’ were recovered scattered in front of a gurudwara in the adjoining Bargari village, resulting in state-wide protest and death of two Sikh protesters in police firing.

The SIT, in its charge sheet, asserted that it was Ram Rahim who directed to conduct sacrilege to avenge the alleged insult of sect followers by a Sikh preacher.

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