CHANDIGARH,August 31: While taking Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to jail after he was held guilty of rape last week, the Haryana police stymied an attempt by the self-appointed spiritual leader's "commandos" to free him, a senior officer said on Wednesday. The 50-year-old chief of the Dera Sacha Sauda has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two followers.
Soon after he was declared guilty by a court in Panchkula on Friday, Ram Rahim demanded a "red bag" that he had brought from Sirsa, the main base of his Dera Sacha Sauda sect. "The Dera chief demanded the bag, saying his clothes were in it. It was actually a signal for his men to spread the news of his conviction among supporters so that they could resort to causing disturbance," Inspector General of Police KK Rao told reporters yesterday. As the bag was taken out of the Baba's SUV, sounds of tear gas shells were heard about 2-3 km from the court, the officer said. "It was then that we understood that there was some meaning behind the signal," Mr Rao commented. The policemen also suspected something off when Ram Rahim Singh and his "adopted daughter" Honeypreet Insaan - who is always by his side even escorted him to a jail in Rohtak - kept lingering in the corridor of the Panchkula court complex and appeared to be buying time. "They were trying to gain time before sitting in the vehicle so that their men could spread the message that he was moving from the court. They were told that you cannot stand here. The mob was about 2-3 km and could have moved closer. We never wanted violence as casualties could have been more," Mr Rao said. The police decided to shift him from his own SUV to the car of a police officer, Sumit Kumar. When they were trying to get him to move, Ram Rahim's security guards ringed around him, Mr Rao alleged. PTI