Haryana police have set up a special investigation team that will examine the substance recovered from a fire tender impounded from the motorcade in which Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was travelling Friday. So far, the police have found that the substance has a neutral pH value and is not inflammable, Haryana DGP B S Sandhu said at a press conference. Panchkula police commissioner Arshinder Singh Chawla said, “After it was examined, it has been concluded that the substance was not inflammable.” However, Chawla said there was a smell of petrol from two compartments inside the fire tender. “We have asked fire officers to examine certain things,” he said.
Sandhu said Ram Rahim’s close aide Honeypreet Insan had wanted to accompany him to jail as a “physician” but she was denied permission. Honeypreet is described by some Dera followers as Ram Rahim’s “adopted daughter”.“It was on the court’s orders that she was allowed to enter the courtroom while proceedings were on,” Sandhu said. “After the conviction, she requested the judge that she wanted to go with (Ram Rahim) as a physician. She said he is suffering from a disease…. Permission was denied.”
In the last 24 hours in Sirsa, one incident was reported in which the media was attacked. “We have registered an FIR,” Sandhu said. Friday’s violence has left 76 vehicles damaged. “The number of deaths is 38, of which 32 happened in Panchkula and six in Sirsa. Those who died at Sirsa have been identified. In Panchkula, we have been able to identify 24 people so far. Twenty bodies have been handed over. Seventeen people are still admitted at the civil hospital in Panchkula,” he said.
Sandhu said 103 of the Dera’s 131 naam charcha ghars across Haryana have been sanitised. Police seized several vehicles, besides “weapons and other objectionable items”, officials said. The items allegedly seized include a large knife, sword , 48 iron rods, 21 bottles of diesel, petrol, kerosene, over 2,500 sticks, two trolleys laden with stones and pepper spray.
ADG (law and order) Muhammad Akil said he toured the jail area in Rohtak and suggested some improvements in security ahead of Monday’s hearing and expected sentencing.