An illegal explosives factory, plastic cash tokens and a luxury vehicle estimated to be around Rs 1 crore are some of the things discovered in the first two days of a massive search operation inside the 700-acre Dera Sacha Sauda complex in Sirsa district of Haryana. On the first day of search operation conducted by the police and paramilitary forces, which lasted for nearly 10 hours, unlabeled Ayurvedic medicines and an OB van were also found apart from the Lexus car without number plates.
On the first day, few computers, Rs 12,000 in cash, hard disks and demonetised currency worth Rs 7,000 was also recovered, sources told The Indian Express. The plastic cash tokens recovered were used as “parallel currency” in markets nearby the Dera complex. Police also located the so-called “gufa”, where Dera chief Ram Rahim stayed. “There was a pathway connecting the girls’ hostel to this building. This pathway has now been blocked,” an administrative officer said.
Five boys were also found in a residential colony inside the complex. Two of these boys are minors. One of them, aged seven, is from Kaithal town of Haryana, while another, aged twelve, is from a locality in Sirsa town.
One of the motives behind the search operation is to ascertain the total worth of Dera assets across the state of Haryana. While the Haryana government is still calculating it, preliminary assessments project the net worth of assets across Haryana to be at least Rs 1,100 crore. Punjab government estimates Dera’s assets in the state to be worth Rs 53 crore.
As the search operation continued amid heavy security on the second day, the search team discovered an illegal explosives factory in the complex. Speaking to reporters, Deputy Director of Haryana PR Department, Satish Mehra said the factory was shut down on discovery. “Explosives and fire crackers were seized,” Mehra said.
Mehra also said a window-like path leading from Dera Awas to Sadhvi Niwas had been found. The team is investigating the path, he added.
The 700-acre complex also houses a heart-shaped multi-specialty hospital, a luxury resort housed in a ship-shaped structure and an international school with towers sculpted like aeroplanes — all of these painted in bright hues of orange, purple and green. This complex has been conceptualised and designed by the Dera chief.
Earlier this week, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said that some “objectionable” items were recovered during the sanitisation of “Namcharcha Ghars”, the congregation centres of Dera in the state. According to Khattar, 117 of these centres were sanitised in Rewari on Monday.