A luxury car without a registration plate and old currency notes were seized from the Sirsa headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda on Friday after security officials and district authorities conducted a mammoth search operation at the premises. Two boys and three men were also found inside the Dera premises on Friday, Haryana’s Information and Public Relations Department Deputy Director Satish Mehra told PTI.
“The boys are from Kaithal and Uttar Pradesh,” Mehra said. “Both have been handed over to the District Child Protection Officer.” Some rooms were sealed, computer hard disk drives, an unregistered Lexus car, an outside broadcasting van, Rs 7,000 in demonetised currency, Rs 12,000 cash and some medicines without labels were seized, Mehra said. The search team is also believed to have found 1,500 pairs of shoes and designer clothes.
Plastic money used by the followers of the controversial sect were also found at the site, NDTV reported. The plastic pieces carried value in the Dera’s shops within the campus, followers said. The words ‘Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera hi Asara, Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa’ are inscribed on them, the report said.
The Dera campus, spread over 600 acres, houses a stadium, a hospital, educational institutions, a luxury resort, bungalows and markets, IANS reported. The gufa (cave), where Ram Rahim Singh lived, is a 100-acre area which only the close associates of the Dera were allowed to enter. The woman who complained against Ram Rahim had said that she had been called into the “cave” before being assaulted.
As many as 41 paramilitary companies, four Army columns, police officers from four districts, one Special Weapons and Tactics team, a dog squad and a bomb squad were deployed for the search operation. Authorities had also taken 10 locksmiths along to assist in the process. The operation concluded at 6.30 pm.
Earlier in the day, the Haryana government suspended mobile internet services until September 10 and imposed a curfew in the areas surrounding the headquarters.
Search ordered after weapons seizure from campus
The search of the sprawling campus began at 8 am and was supervised by retired Judge Anil Kumar Singh Pawar. The Punjab and Haryana High Court appointed him the court commissioner to search and sanitise the Dera headquarters after the police seized a cache of 33 licensed weapons from the premises.
The entire operation was also videographed.