Of the 38 people killed in the violence in Haryana after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, six were killed in police firing when thousands of followers were headed towards Sirsa town from the Dera campus. Senior IAS officer V Umashankar said, “It was part of their (police) strategy that the mob should not be allowed to enter the town after the verdict.”
Vinod Kumar, 21
Family: Father, mother, sister, brother
Vinod was pursuing a course in electronics from Industrial Training Institute, Sirsa. He belonged to a poor SC family. His father has a small shoe store. His uncle Babu Lal said Vinod had gone to the Dera for religious service. “We had faith in the sect but the Dera chief’s conviction has shattered it,” he said.
Vina Rani, 56
Family: Husband, son, two daughters
Vina was the lone follower of the Dera in her family. Her husband is a peon in a government school. Vina’s nephew Amit Jatana said, “She had gone to the Dera last Wednesday. After the violence, she was admitted to Agroha Medical College in Hisar district where she died.”
Sahil Kumar, 25
Residence: Ratia, Fatehabad
Family: Mother, father, sister
A relative, Subhash Chander, said Sahil had gone to the Dera with two friends on Friday. “He went to attend a religious event as he was a follower. He was never involved in crime,” he said.
Vazir Singh Kamboj, 55
Residence: Maujdin village, Sirsa
Family: Two sons, a daughter
Occupation: Retired Armyman
A villager, Mukhtyar Singh, said Vazir was working in a government school after retirement. “He was a Dera follower for years. He was living in a Dera colony. We don’t know what happened,” he said.
Robin Saini, 27
Residence: Bahabalpur village, Jind
Robin’s family could not be contacted. His maternal uncle Shri Ram Saini told the police that Robin was a Dera follower.
Kala Singh, 47
Residence: Preet Nagar, Sirsa
Kala Singh’s family members could not be contacted.
Investigation Officer Wazir Singh said, “Police took action when Dera followers started moving to the town after the court.”