Army had warned that Dera Sacha Sauda providing arms training to its followers

August 28, 2017 09:45 PM

Aug 28, 2017-Were Dera Sacha Sauda followers given arms training inside its Sirsa headquarters? The question has lingered in the minds of many ever since Army intelligence red-flagged the issue in December 2010.

Justice M Jeyapaul had observed monitoring Dera activities were much needed to avoid any flare-up. “Casualty will be more in dimension compared to the one we had faced while executing a warrant for arrest as against contemnor Rampal,” the HC had observed.

They said ex-servicemen might have been used for the training and an advisory had been issued to troops to stay away from the Dera. The police, however, did not find any evidence of weapons being stored or followers being trained when it searched the Dera. It is only since the Panchkula violence that Dera followers have been held with weapons, including rifles and pistols.

The arms training issue came up again in late 2014 when followers of another controversial godman, Rampal, tried to stop the police from arresting him from Satlok Ashram in Hisar in a contempt of court case. Six people were killed in the clash. The Punjab and Haryana HC had taken suo motu cognisance of reports of arms training inside Satlok Ashram and on December 4, 2014, issued a notice to the Haryana government. Advocate Anupam Gupta, who was amicus curiae in the Rampal case, had produced the army advisory.

But giving a clean chit to the Dera, the Haryana government had in 2015 told the court that an inquiry did not find any arms training or weapons. Haryana advocate general Baldev Raj Mahajan told this reporter the Army advisory was an old one. “The previous government had found nothing in the Dera.”

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