Punjab: Dera suffered in fight between 2 parties, says its political wing head

Raakhi Jagga
Security personnel at Shakti Singh s house. (Express photo: Gurmeet Singh)

A day after cremation of Dera premi Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu at Kotkapura, political wing in-charge of Dera Sacha Sauda said that Punjab Police defamed Dera followers by booking them in false cases of sacrilege.

Ram Singh, in charge of political wing of Dera Sacha Sauda, said, Our men were booked and framed in false cases for no reason. It was a fight between two political parties, in which Dera was made the target. Police defamed Dera followers.

Bittu along with four others was arrested in June last year, days after Bargari Morcha began an indefinite dharna against Punjab government demanding arrest of culprits behind sacrilege incidents. Bittu was arrested from Palampur as he had gone missing from Kotkapura after Panchkula violence. Three others were arrested from Kotkapura, followed by more arrests.

All were initially arrested in old case of Moga violence case between Sikhs and Dera premis and later on Bittu was also booked in Bargari case. However, Dera followers did not protest the arrests then. When asked about it Ram Singh said,

That was a different time, police was putting so much of pressure on the persons arrested and their families and hence people were in fear and hence did not come forward. But we cannot keep quiet after this murder. Dera followers were tortured in police custody as well and hence they were apprehending that they may be booked in more false cases as well….A total of 30 Dera men were booked in old cases intially and later during police custody they were booked in sacrilege cases which happened in Bargari, Moga, Bathinda etc areas as well. As of now only six are behind bars and rest all are out on bail.

It was learnt that the SIT was planning to question Bittu in jail in the coming days, but he was murdered before that. SIT probing sacrilege case will be questioning Ram Rahim in Rohtak jail as permission has been obtained from the concerned district and jail authorities, said sources.