Dera property pegged at Rs 2,000 crore; enough to compensate for damage caused by violence?

Vanilla Sharma

While self-styled godman and Dera Sacha Sauda chief may be growing vegetables in a small patch of land outside his barrack at Rohtak's Sunaria jail and earning Rs 20 a day for the same, authorities have taken stock of the Dera's assets in Sirsa and pegged it at about Rs 2,000 crore. These assets include the Dera's cash in banks and its properties – movable and immovable.

The stocktaking comes after the Punjab and Haryana High Court had ordered that the amount of public property destroyed by the violence by Dera followers after Ram Rahim's conviction be recovered from the Dera.

"Details have been prepared on the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court and a report submitted through the Court Commissioner," the Tribune quoted Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh as saying.

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In tune with the high court's orders, about 90 bank accounts of the Dera have already been frozen and though the exact transaction details aren't known, it has been said that it could be around Rs 68 crore. Also, a public sector bank told the website that the Dera deposited Rs 40 crore in its Sirsa branch.

Apart from the bank deposits, the Dera also owns a large amount of property at the Sirsa–Nathusari Chopta–Bhadra road and this land is worth crores. "Going by the current market rate, the cost of the land alone should be Rs 600 crore to Rs 800 crore. It was, of course, much higher five years ago," the Tribune quoted its sources.

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The Dera also has several properties and sources of income such as educational institutions, a five-star hotel, a cricket stadium, a cinema hall, a hospital, a shopping mall, factories that manufacture confectionaries, bottled water, cosmetics, and agricultural products. The dera also has a fleet of vehicles, which include Ram Rahim's locally modified cars and bikes.

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Meanwhile, the Dera chief is set to remain in prison for 20 years for raping two sadhvis at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. He is allowed a few visitors in the jail and Ram Rahim has listed "adopted daughter" Honeypreet as one of the people he would want to meet. For this, the convicted "godman" had given two contact numbers to the jail officials, of which one is said to be Honeypreet's.

"We have given both numbers to the police for verification. Secondly, Honeypreet is an accused facing serious charges, hence it may not be possible to connect her with the dera head until she comes out clean," the Times of India quoted Haryana DGP (prisons) K P Singh as saying. 

However, she has been absconding since August 25. She was last seen in Rohtak when he had requested to meet Ram Rahim at the Sunaria Jail, but the authorities had turned her away, after which she left.

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The Haryana police had then issued a lookout notice for her.

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