The large house has over 10 rooms and is located on the outskirts village and there is no other house nearby. Police sources said this may have been the reason that Sukhdeep chose this house as a hideout for a few days.
Asked about the party’s stand on dera followers, Jassi, who still considers Ram Rahim his guru, said, “My personal relationships and politics should not be mixed. On politics front, I am visiting my constituency Maur from where I contested last.”
Sources added that the house had not been dusted for long and there were no ACs installed. They revealed that after looking at the condition of the house it appeared that no one had lived there in the recent past, and Honeypreet had misguided police officials.
All Patwar Union members in Ludhiana went on mass leave from September 25 to protest a sting operation done by in Lok Insaaf Party MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains, which purportedly showed a Patwari and his assistant taking bribe.
The incident occurred at a factory that is a major supplier of crackers to the entire Sangrur district. The two-storey factory building was completely damaged in the blast. Firecrackers had been stashed in the building ahead of Dussehra and Diwali.
While the heritage mela tag comes with an entitlement of Rs 25 lakh annual grant for organising the event, the state government, this year and even during previous years, has not released any money to the district administration.
Sidhu has often been critical of the Badals in his public speeches. Interestingly, Sukhbir made just one reference to Captain, saying, “Captain sahib took oath by taking Gutka Sahib in his hands and has not fulfilled his promises till date.”
On September 12, 1897, 21 soldiers of the 36th Sikh had had fought to the last man against nearly 10,000 Afghans. So far, this tale of bravery had not been included in school history books in India, while Britain had already included it in their school curriculum.
Descendants of 12 martyrs have been invited and they will be honoured on Tuesday. Apart from this, a 14-member British contingent has also arrived in Punjab to take part in the September 12 function in Ferozepur.
Though the family back home is grief-stricken, Kamaljit’s 21-year-old son Navdeep Singh is determined to join Army. “I want to serve my country so that I can defeat the Pakistani forces across the border."
“After I went to these villages, I got to know that a few premis have not yet come back and their family members are not coming to police for help. So, we assured them that no innocent will be booked. Tomorrow, they will also get their police complaints lodged.”
The villagers still wear the Dera’s signature ‘1’ locket, but they refuse to speak on Ram Rahim. A house in the village, with an aeroplane-shaped water tank, is the “Naam Charcha Ghar”, where prayers are held every week. But since last week, it has become the temporary quarters of police personnel.
In the village of 3,000, dera chief hardly had 250 followers. While Ram Rahim’s relatives are restrained in their reaction about the CBI court’s verdict sentencing him to 20 years of imprisonment in rape cases, the common refrain of the villagers is, “Jaisa karoge, vaisa bharoge (You reap what you sow)”.
Salabatpura in Bathinda, Punjab’s largest dera spread over 125 acre, has no bank account. Punjab government had recently asked all districts to identify moveable and immovable dera properties in their respective areas.
A day after Panchkula erupted in clashes over Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in two cases of rape, his followers streamed back to their villages in Punjab - in small groups of ones and two. Many of them said they were just glad to be alive.
The districts under curfew were — Sangrur, Moga, Bathinda, Muktsar, Ferozepur, Faridkot, Barnala, Patiala, Fazilka, and Mansa. Government-run Sewa Kendras across districts bore the brunt of the attacks.
The throng of devotees has reduced to a trickle over the past few days, but the sewadars have beem showing up without fail to carry out routine duties. Nearly 300 followers, mostly senior citizens, were spread out in the dera carrying out various duties. Of them, around 100 are on the dera’s rolls, while the rest are all sewadars.
A detailed intelligence briefing was given to officers on available inputs about the plans of Dera Sacha Sauda followers and other groups. Bathinda, Mansa and Muktsar districts share borders with Sirsa and have a large number of Dera followers.
Meanwhile, Ram Singh, member of the political arm of the Dera Sacha Sauda, told The Indian Express, “We have got no instructions from the Dera and hence we are organising our regular satsangs at Nam Charcha ghars across the state."