Taking exception to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s reported comments over Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s appearance in court on Friday, the sect’s spokesperson today requested him not to make such a statement. The spokesperson said such a statement would create confusion among the people. A special CBI court in Panchkula will pronounce the judgment in sexual exploitation case against the Dera chief on August 25 and he has also been asked to appear in person before the court on the same day. “Without holding any discussion with us, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has unfortunately made a statement that Guru ji (Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh) will come there (appear in court). It has led to a situation of confusion,” Aditya Insan, the Dera spokesperson, said. “We have been receiving lakhs of calls from our followers. I came to know that 8-10 lakh people have reached (Panchkula) and an additional 15-20 lakh will also reach there,” he said. “I want to request the chief minister that he should not make such a statement which can turn the situation volatile and people may develop a fear about what is going to happen,” the spokesperson said.
Yesterday, Khattar had reportedly said that the Dera chief would appear before the special CBI Court in Panchkula on August 25 when the verdict would be pronounced. “Our officers are in touch with the Dera chief and he will appear in the court on the appointed day,” Khattar had reportedly said. When asked whether the Dera chief would appear in the court on August 25, the sect’s spokesperson said, “We always followed legal process, we believe in due process and we will follow the due process.” To another question, he said because of several controversies involving the sect for the last 15 years, “there is a great resentment among Dera followers.” The case was registered in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. However, the Dera chief has denied these charges.