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Did the security personnel attached to rape convict and Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh attempt to help him escape from the court complex immediately after he was convicted on Friday?
Haryana Police sources say a definite attempt was made by the sect chief's security personnel, who themselves were from Haryana Police and also included private commandos, to help him flee in his private vehicle.
"The attempt was made by his security personnel to take him away in his vehicle, along with his Z-plus security, from the court complex. They could have taken him to his thousands of followers who had gathered about one kilometre from the court complex after which it would have become very tough for the security forces to arrest him without causing several fatalities," a Haryana Police officer told IANS.
Some Haryana Police officers and paramilitary force personnel inside the court complex in Sector 1 of Panchkula immediately sensed the situation and took the disgraced sect chief into custody after a scuffle with his security personnel who numbered seven to eight.
Ram Rahim Singh's security personnel, including Haryana Police and private commandos, were detained in a separate room immediately and later booked for attempt to murder, sedition and trying to prevent police officials from performing their duty.
All the security personnel were later arrested and have been sent on a seven-day police remand.
The officer, who was witness to events inside the court complex, said the sect chief's security personnel also tried to stop the security agencies from taking away the convicted godman in the police vehicle by lying down in front of the vehicle. They were removed.
They also tried to block the way of the police vehicle carrying the sect chief with a security jammer vehicle of the police but were stopped from doing so.
The seven security personnel of the sect chief booked include Assistant Sub-Inspector Krishan Das, Head Constables Ajay, Ram Singh and Vijay Singh, Constable Balwan Singh (all from Haryana Police) and private security guards Pritam Singh and Sukhbir.
Police officials said the police team attached to the security detail of the sect chief had become his followers and indebted to him to such an extent that they allegedly assaulted their own senior officers and tried to free the self-styled godman.
On August 25, CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh held the Dera chief, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002.
At least 36 people died in the violence following the conviction of the Dera chief. Of these, 30 died in Panchkula and in Sirsa town. Over 250 people were injured in the violence.
The sect chief was later shifted to a prison near Rohtak town, about 70 km from Delhi.
The quantum of punishment in the case will be pronounced on Monday at a special court being set up in the prison premises in Rohtak. The judge will be flown to Rohtak on Monday for announcing the sentence.