Hours before her arrest on Tuesday, Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself an adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, claimed that allegations about her role in instigating violence after the sect head’s conviction had left her “devastated”.
Seeking to defend herself, the 36-year-old said that she was facing serious charges when in her life she had never even killed an ant.
In interviews to two TV news channels, Honeypreet also claimed that her “Papa” was innocent. A special CBI court in Panchkula had on August 25 held Ram Rahim Singh guilty of raping two disciples.
Honeypreet also said that she had never left the country after the Dera chief’s conviction, trashing reports suggesting she may have gone to Nepal, but said that she visited Delhi.
She also rubbished allegations levelled by ex-husband Vishwas Gupta saying her relationship with the sect head was pious.
“I cannot understand how anyone can point fingers at the pious relations between a father and daughter. Can’t a father put his hand lovingly on his daughter’s head? Isn’t the father-daughter relation sacred? What proof have these people got to level such allegations. All those who are spreading such rumours, please do not believe them,” she said.
As regards Gupta, I do not want to talk about him, that chapter was over in 2011, she said.
Honeypreet was arrested on Tuesday by the Haryana Police from the Zirakpur-Patiala road in Punjab. Priyanka Taneja or Honeypreet as she is widely known, was among 43 people ‘wanted’ in connection with the probe into the violence after Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction that left 41 dead.
Honeypreet said she was seeking legal opinion and is likely to move the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The woman, against whom a lookout notice and then an arrest warrant was issued, told Aaj Tak and News24 TV channels that allegations levelled against her were not true.
“Was I present with the arsonists (during the mayhem in Panchkula on August 25)? How are they levelling such allegations,” she asked.
Honeypreet said she was with Ram Rahim Singh on August 25 discharging her duties as a daughter.
“Every daughter supports her father... I went with him. Have you heard me uttering a word where I instigate people? I had gone there (to Central Bureau of Investigation court) with a hope that my father will return by the evening. But when he was held guilty, I went into depression. How could I think about anything else? I was devastated,” she claimed.
Honeypreet had accompanied Ram Rahim Singh from the Dera headquarters at Sirsa to the special court in Panchkula on August 25. After the Dera chief’s conviction, she accompanied him in a chopper to Rohtak where he was lodged in a jail.
She said the authorities never raised objections when she accompanied Ram Rahim Singh in the chopper. “Later, so many things were said about how I accompanied him,” she said.
After August 25, Honeypreet had remained untraceable. The woman, however, claimed she was not running away from the law and was only trying to come to terms with Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction.
“Try to understand my condition. The woman who used to make patriotic films with her father (Ram Rahim Singh), the woman in whom her father had infused a spirit of patriotism over the years... He goes behind bars, which was unthinkable for me. And then, for her to hear that sedition charges have been slapped... I was devastated.
“I was completely shaken to hear such serious charges when in my life I have not even killed an ant,” she said.
For me, when Papa went away (was jailed), my world came crashing down, she said.
“Then some guided me. I went to Delhi... Now, I will go to the Punjab and Haryana High Court,” Honeypreet said. She was the lead heroine in the films the sect chief directed, produced and acted in between 2013-2017.
On September 26, the Delhi high court had dismissed her transit anticipatory bail plea. The court’s order was based on the ground that she was evading arrest and hence, not entitled to any discretionary relief.
Asked if she had visited to Nepal after the Dera chief’s conviction, she replied in the negative. “No, I did not go there. I remained within the country,” she said. To another question, Honeypreet said she had met her lawyer in Delhi.
“I went to his office and signed documents,” she said.
Asked where she was hiding for so many days after she left Rohtak, she said, “Later, I went to Delhi.”
Asked about skeletons being buried inside the Dera at Sirsa and the sect chief’s exploitation of female disciples, Honeypreet said, “Did anyone find skeletons? As regards what is being said about papa, he is innocent and in times to come you will see this...We will move the high court and then the Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get justice.”
Asked whether she had brought Ram Rahim Singh into movies, Honeypreet said it was a complete lie.
“I did not have any interest in movies. If you had seen my previous interviews, you must have heard that I never wanted to get into it. When first movie was made then I felt that I could work behind the camera. I wanted to be a director,” she said.
Honeypreet denied that she used to call the shots in the Dera.
“He (Dera chief) used to hold satsang. Rest of the work was done by the management as work was divided. I was handling the movie department and direction,” she said.
She also said dubbed as wrong suggestions that she was not on good terms with the Dera chief’s family.
“We love each other a lot. The amount of love I got was what they gave to their daughters. They love me very much and I also love them,” she said.