Chandigarh, Jan 3 – Jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s relative and former MLA Harminder Singh Jassi appeared before the SIT investigating the violence following the sect head’s conviction in rape cases last year on Wednesday.
Assistant commissioner of Panchkula police heading the SIT had asked Jassi to appear before it earlier, but the former Congress legislator had requested for more time.
The Dera chief’s son is married to Jassi’s daughter.
“We keep getting various leads during investigation and these need to be cross-checked,” said Panchkula Police Commissioner A S Chawla when asked about what they quizzed him on.
Asked if Jassi was summoned because he was a relative of the Dera chief, Chawla said, “We have to find out all that he had been doing (did not elaborate on this). Was it because he was family member (relative of the Dera chief), that is something which needs to be explored.”
Emerging from nearly four hours of questioning, Jassi told reporters he was not summoned as an accused. “I am not an accused.”
To another question, Jassi said he was not present in Panchkula on August 25 last year, the day violence broke out after the sect head’s conviction.
Chawla said the SIT had gone to Sunaria jail in Rohtak and questioned Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. “We had to question Dera chief regarding certain things and we might do that again,” he told PTI over phone.
He said as investigation progresses, some more people may be questioned. “Three-four key accused including Aditya Insan were yet to be arrested.”
He said once these accused including Aditya are arrested, the police may get new leads to work on.
Notably, the Haryana police have doubled the reward money from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for information leading to the arrest of absconding Dera Sacha Sauda top functionary Aditya Insan, who is alleged to have played a key role behind the August 25 violence.
“We have made an appeal through media also and pasted his photographs at different locations. We once again appeal to public to come forward if they have any clue regarding this key accused,” Chawla said about Aditya.
Recently, the state was pulled up by a full bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court for its failure to nab Aditya Insan. Meanwhile, the arguments on framing of charges against Honeypreet Insan and others will start from January 11 in the Panchkula court.
Honeypreet, who calls herself the adopted daughter of Gurmeet Ram Rahim, was arrested on October 3 by the Haryana Police
Haryana remained on edge after the Sirsa-headquartered sect chief was convicted by a special CBI court, triggering widespread violence and arson, mainly in Panchkula and Sirsa, leaving 41 dead and scores injured.
The Dera chief, now lodged in Sunaria jail in Rohtak, was sentenced to 20 years in prison for raping two disciples. PTI