Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself the adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested by the Haryana Police in connection with the deadly violence which followed the sect head's conviction on August 25.
Honeypreet Insan, who calls herself the adopted daughter of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested by the Haryana Police in connection with the deadly violence which followed the sect head’s conviction on August 25. The arrest came hours after Honeypreet appeared on two private news channels interacting with reporters at an undisclosed location, even though the Haryana Police had been looking for her for more than a month.
Priyanka Taneja (36), alias Honeypreet, was arrested from Zirakpur-Patiala road, Haryana Police DGP B S Sandhu said. The scene of her arrest is about 15-18 kms from both Chandigarh and Panchkula. The Haryana Police had been facing flak for not being able to nab Honeypreet for more than a month. Honeypreet tops a list of 43 people “wanted” by the state police in connection with the violence following Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case. At least 41 people died and several were injured in the violence.
Police Commissioner A S Chawla said that another woman – a Dera follower- was accompanying Honeypreet at the time of her arrest. Both of them were being questioned. “We have deputed senior lady officers for questioning. She has not divulged much, but we are on the job. Initially, she was not cooperating,” Chawla told reporters in Panchkula.
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Chawla said the woman accompanying Honeypreet “confirmed that Honeypreet was with her for the past several days in Bathinda district of Punjab.” He said the information was being verified. “We will take her there and confirm things.” Honeypreet will be produced before a court in Panchkula tomorrow where the police will seek her remand, he said. “Her role in the violence will be probed,” the officer said.
He said the Punjab Police has been informed about the arrests.
Asked whether the Haryana Police got the information about the accused’s movements from their Punjab counterparts, Chawla said, “At this moment, I cannot share what all intelligence inputs we had or who all supported us”. Asked to comment on reports that Honeypreet was in the custody of the Punjab Police before her arrest today by the Haryana Police, Chawla evaded a direct reply.
Mohali SSP Kuldeep Chahal, however, said the reports were “misleading”. On being quizzed about the police station where the Dera chief’s adopted daughter will be kept, Chawla said, “All these are part of operational details which I cannot share”. The officer said the priority was to question Honeypreet.
“Who supported whom, who did the wrong, which all places did she hide and who gave her shelter, all these things will come to the fore when we question her at length,” he said.
Chawla said the role of Ram Rahim’s relative, who is a politician, will also come under the scanner.
The Haryana Police on September 1 issued a lookout notice against Honeypreet and another Ram Rahim aide Aditya Insan following fears that they might “escape from the country”. An arrest warrant was issued against Honeypreet and two key Dera functionaries – Aditya and Pawan Insan, after the Haryana Police moved an application in Panchkula court.
The police had conducted searches at various locations with several teams even travelling across the country, including the Indo-Nepal border, in search of Honeypreet. Honeypreet, who calls herself “Papa’s angel”, had accompanied Ram Rahim from the sect headquarters at Sirsa to special CBI court in Panchkula on August 25. After Dera chief’s conviction that day, she also accompanied him in a chopper when he was flown to Rohtak jail. There had been no trace of Honeypreet after August 25.
On September 26, the Delhi High Court had dismissed Honeypreet’s transit anticipatory bail plea. The court’s order was based on the ground that she had been evading arrest and hence, was not entitled to any discretionary relief.