Authorities in Punjab and Haryana have started identifying movable and immovable assets of the Sirsa-headquartered Dera Sacha Sauda on the directions of the high court, officials said today. Revenue officials of the two states have been compiling details of properties and assets of the Dera, the quasi- religious sect headed by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, convicted of raping his two followers. Banks have been asked to provide details of accounts of the Dera. “A list of the Dera’s assets, incomes, bank accounts and properties is being prepared on a war footing,” one of the officials connected with the exercise in the twin states of Haryana and Punjab said.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court asked the two states to submit by Tuesday a list of the Dera’s properties and assets which can be attached “in case it is found that they and their followers are responsible for damaging properties”. After the Dera chief was convicted by a CBI court in Panchkula on August 25, his followers went on rampage setting fire to vehicles and railway stations, and damaging public and private properties. Thirty-six people were killed and more than 250 injured in violence in Panchkula and Sirsa. The high court had refrained the Dera from transferring, selling or leasing out its properties. The Dera has ‘Nam Charcha Ghars’ (congregation centres) in many parts of Haryana and Punjab. While the sect’s headquarter is located in Sirsa in Haryana, its biggest congregation centre in Punjab is at Salabtpura in Bathinda. The hearing on quantum of sentence against the 50-year- old self-styled godman, now lodged in Rohtak jail, will be held tomorrow.