Haryana police has arrested Govind, a member of the state body of the Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa, for allegedly inciting violence on August 25 in Panchkula after sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in rape case.
Meanwhile, efforts continued to trace the Dera chief's adopted daughter Honeypreet Insan, against whom a lookout notice was issued earlier.
Govind, a senior member of the Dera Sacha Sauda, was present at the Hafed Chowk, the epicentre of the violence in Panchkula on August 25, the police said today, adding that he has been accused of inciting violence.
"We arrested him from Zirakpur," Panchkula Police Commissioner, A S Chawla said on Sunday.
Chawla added that the police were still looking for two key Dera Sacha Sauda functionaries, Honeypreet and Aditya Insan.
"We are at the job and hopeful of nabbing them soon," he said.
The Haryana police had earlier sent a team to Lakhimpur Kheri in Uttar Pradesh bordering Nepal in search of Honeypreet, a close confidante of the self-styled godman who is serving a 20-year-old jail term for raping two disciples.
The police had on September 1 issued a lookout notice for Honeypreet and Aditya, fearing that they could flee the country.
"We are conducting raids at various places and our teams have gone to different areas to trace them," Chawla said.
Earlier, Dera Sacha Sauda management too had appealed to the two to cooperate with the police.
Sirsa-headquartered Dera chairperson Vipassana Insan had said that Honeypreet and Dera spokesperson Aditya Insan should help the investigations.
She had claimed that the Dera had no contact with them.
Chawla said the police initiated efforts to trace Honeypreet, the adopted daughter of Ram Rahim Singh, who describes herself as 'Papa's angel', after it arrested and questioned another sect functionary, Surinder Dhiman Insan, in connection with an alleged conspiracy to help Ram Rahim escape after his conviction by the special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Panchkula.
Chawla said that police needs to question Honeypreet regarding the disclosures made by Surinder Dhiman and some other arrested accused.
He said that a first information report was earlier lodged at the Panchkula police station following a statement by a newspaper reporter against Aditya and Surinder Dhiman.
The duo have been booked for sedition.
Violence broke out in Panchkula after the Dera chief's conviction, leaving 35 dead, while six others were killed in incidents in Sirsa.
Two key functionaries of Dera Sacha Sauda were also arrested on Friday for allegedly inciting violence in Panchkula. Chamkaur Singh, the incharge of Dera Sacha Sauda centre at Panchkula and Daan Singh, another key functionary, were nabbed by the police.
Both were arrested in connection with the violence that took place in Panchkula on August 25, the police said.
The 50-year-old Dera chief, who is lodged in the Sunaria Jail in Rohtak, had been sentenced to 20 years of imprisonment by the CBI court for the 2002 rapes of two of his disciples.
Earlier, five Haryana policemen, who were part of Ram Rahim's security when he travelled from Sirsa to the CBI court on August 25, were charged with sedition and dismissed from service over the alleged conspiracy to help him escape.
Honeypreet had accompanied Ram Rahim when he was brought to the special court for the pronouncement of the verdict in the 15-year-old rape cases.
She also travelled with him in a chopper which ferried them to Rohtak from Panchkula after the conviction.
Honeypreet acted in the film MSG 2 - The Messenger and had a cameo role in MSG - The Warrior Lion Heart, in which the Dera chief played the lead roles.
Officials of the Uttar Pradesh police also said on Sunday that Honeypreet's photographs were pasted at police stations bordering Nepal and the law and order machinery was on an alert to ensure she does not sneak into the neighbouring country.
Dera sanitisation operation complete
The three-day long mammoth exercise to carry out 'sanitisation' of the sprawling Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters premises in Sirsa ended on Sunday evening, officials said.
Security forces and various government departments had launched a coordinated effort to carry out a sanitisation exercise on September 8, amid a thick security blanket.
"The search operation process in the Dera was launched from September 8 and was overseen by Court Commissioner AKS Pawar. The search operation continued till today and the process is complete now," Haryana government's Public Relations Department Deputy Director, Satish Mehra told reporters in Sirsa on Sunday evening.
The operation remained smooth and peaceful, he said.
"Various teams engaged in this operation have submitted their report to the court commissioner, who will now submit his report to the Punjab and Haryana high court," Mehra said.
The sanitisation process led to unearthing of two secret tunnels, including one that connected the Dera Sacha Sauda chief's residence with the hostel for female disciples, and an illegal firecracker factory, officials said.
An empty box of AK-47 cartridges, 84 cartons of fire crackers and chemicals from the illegal factory, besides hundreds of pairs of shoes, designer clothing and caps, were also found, Mehra said earlier.
The other fibre glass tunnel detected by the security forces opened some five kilometre away from the Dera head's private residence, he had said on Saturday.
An unregistered luxury car was also seized on Friday from the Dera during the sanitisation exercise, according to officials.
The sprawling Dera complex here includes a township with schools, a sports village, a hospital, a shopping mall and a cinema hall. The property is also home to an ostentatious '7-star MSG resort' with replicas of Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Kremlin and Disney World inside.
Photograph: PTI Photo