ALSO READDera chief conviction: Trail of death and destruction descends on Panchkula Dera verdict: Curfew-like restrictions in Chandigarh, Panchkula Dera Sacha Sauda chief's security team tried to help him flee after verdict Dera verdict: Ram Rahim promises to be present in court, appeals for peace Violence in Punjab, Haryana over Dera chief's conviction; at least 28 dead
Sedition and attempt to murder charges have been slapped against seven persons, including five Haryana police personnel, who were part of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief's security paraphernalia when he had arrived at Panchkula to appear in a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25. "Sedition charge has been slapped against seven persons, including five Haryana police personnel," Karambir Singh, Inspector, Panchkula Police (Sector-5), said on Sunday. They had also been charged for attempt to murder, he added. The seven security personnel of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had allegedly tried to free him when the self-styled godman was brought outside the Panchkula Court complex on Friday after the special CBI court convicted him in a 15-year-old rape case, the police said. They allegedly got into a scuffle with the Haryana police when the Dera chief was being taken to the Western Command, from where he was to be taken to the Rohtak jail in a chopper. However, the securitymen of the Dera chief were overpowered by the policemen. They were produced before the court yesterday which sent them to a seven-day police remand, said Singh. The Haryana police personnel, who were arrested, were in the ranks of sub-inspector, assistant sub-inspector, head constable and constable, he added. Panchkula's Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Manbir Singh, who assumed charge on Sunday, said a number of vehicles, including a fire engine, part of the Dera chief's cavalcade, were impounded on Friday. Asked if any inflammable chemical was recovered from the fire engine, the DCP said, "There are two large tanks in the fire engine, which belongs to the Dera. A foul smell was emanating from the tanks.
We have sent the substance recovered from the tanks to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory." The Dera chief, who enjoyed a "Z plus" security cover which was withdrawn after his conviction, had travelled from Sirsa to Panchkula in a convoy of vehicles on Friday. He was convicted in a 15-year-old rape case by the CBI court. The quantum of sentence will be pronounced on Monday.