RTI reply reveals how Gurmeet Ram Rahim minted money in the name of faith
On the advice of Honeypreet, Gurmeet Ram Rahim started doing musical nights and ventured into film-making.
Information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act reveals that Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim expanded his business like a corporate house with money given by his followers as donation to his sect.
Serving 20-year-sentence for rape and sexual exploitation of two of his devotees, Gurmeet Ram Rahim minted crores of rupees every year in the name of faith.
Dera took donations for its social welfare and religious wings and used the money to further his commercial ambitions. This way, his earnings in the name of social welfare and religious functions remained untaxed.
Though the income Tax department had refused to divulge financial details about Dera organisations, the financial details have now come out in public domain under the RTI Act. The details show that Dera earned a net profit of over Rs 50 crore during the financial year 2010-11.
While Dera Sacha Sauda's net profit for the financial year was Rs 29.18 crore, Shah Satnam Ji Research and Development Foundation earned Rs 16.52 crore.
Similarly, Shah Satnam Ji Education and Welfare Society netted a profit of Rs 1.80 crore and Shah Satnam Ji Green and Welfare Society's profit was Rs 3 crore. Sources familiar with Dera Sacha Sauda's activities said that the responsibility to raise the funds and donations was with Ram Rahim's confidante Honeypreet Insaan, who is known for her networking skills.
ROLE OF HONEYPREET
Sources also said that it was on the advice of Honeypreet that Gurmeet Ram Rahim started organising musical nights that became very popular with the followers, who showered crores of rupees each night. Gurmeet Ram Rahim would sing his popular numbers like "Love Charger" and charge hefty amount for the show.
Dera films were also the brainchild of Honeypreet. Some of the films entered Rs 100 crore-club. The music shows and films apart from donations were the major source of Dera income. A large part of the Dera income came in the form of cash donations.
However, the sanitisation drive, launched on the directions of Punjab and Haryana High Court, had failed to recover cash deposits from Dera complex. The officials could recover only Rs 12,000 during their searches.
The recovery of a small amount from Dera has led to the speculations that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's aides stashed the illegal money somewhere else. Honeypreet allegedly escaped with two large size travel bags on August 28 night from Dera's headquarters at Sirsa in Haryana.
Did Honeypreet decamp with Dera cash? This is the question, the police officials are trying to find out the answers of. The probe into Dera affairs also includes money laundering charges.