The Haryana police on Wednesday produced Priyanka Taneja a.k.a. Honeypreet Insan and her accomplice Sukhdeep Kaur, a Bathinda resident, in the local court in Panchkula, which remanded both to six-day police custody.
The police had demanded a 14-day custody of both Honeypreet, charged with sedition at Sector 5 police station on August 26, and Sukhdeep Kaur, accused for harbouring Honeypreet. Sukhdeep was driving the Toyota Innova in which Honeypreet was travelling when she was caught Tuesday afternoon on Zirakpur-Patiala highway. Tuesday night, Honeypreet had complained of a chest pain during her questioning at Sector 23 Chandimandir police station. She was taken to Sector 6 police station for a medical examination and her health parameters were found normal.
Seeking her custody for a thorough interrogation, the prosecution argued that Honeypreet was part of a crucial meeting on August 17 at Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa, where a planning was done to instigate violence in Panchkula in case the Dera chief was convicted. On August 25, a CBI court here had held Dera chief guilty of rape. Subsequently, massive violence erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa resulting in 41 deaths. Two women decoys ensure quiet entry for Honeypreet in Panchkula court
The prosecution also told the court that Honeypreet was carrying a mobile phone when she accompanied Dera chief to the CBI court on August 25 and it was the same phone that she used to instigate the mob outside the court complex. The phone needed to be recovered by the police, the prosecution said. They said Honeypreet was also using some international SIM cards while on the run, which too needed to be recovered from her. It told the court that a custodial interrogation of both Honeypreet and Sukhdeep Kaur was required since they were to be taken to several places in Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and New Delhi to trace the entire route where Honeypreet travelled while she was on the run in the last 38 days. Police also required to identify all those people who provided shelter to Honeypreet while she was at large, the prosecution told the court.
The prosecution also said the police needed to interrogate Honeypreet to find out the whereabouts of other absconding accused, including Dr Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan, two key spokespersons of the Dera Sacha Sauda also wanted in the same sedition case. Police sources said, “The initial interrogation of both the women revealed that Sukhdeep Kaur, who is a Dera premi and wife of a Bahinda resident, Baggad Singh, was in the touch of Honeypreet since August 27 when she vanished from inside Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa. Baggad Singh has also been missing from his house in Bathinda for the past few days. The Toyota Innova, in which both the women were travelling, was found registered in the name of one Beant Singh of Moga district in Punjab. Efforts are being made to trace Beant Singh.” The defence counsels, Pradeep Kumar Arya from Delhi High court, AP Singh from the Supreme Court and S K Garg Narwana of Punjab and Haryana High Court, opposed the police custody for the duo, arguing that they had no role in the violence and that there was no strong evidence to prove their complicity.
Honeypreet and Sukhdeep Kaur were kept at Sector 23 Chandimandir police station. Police teams led by ACP Mukesh Malhotra took both of them to Bathinda for tracing the places where Honeypreet stayed while on the run.