Published On: Fri, Sep 8th, 2017

Forensic team inspects Ram Rahim’s ‘gufa’ where women were exploited

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A team of forensic experts today inspected the so-called ‘gufa’ (cave) at Dera Sacha Sauda where its rape convict head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh allegedly used to sexually exploit women.

The ‘gufa’ was inspected by the forensic experts from IIT Roorkee as part of sanitisation of the sprawling ‘dera’ campus here, an official of the Haryana government said. According to the rape victim, on whose complaint the dera chief was convicted by a CBI court on August 25, Ram Rahim would sexually exploit girls in the ‘gufa’, said to be his residence.

“A forensic team from IIT Roorke reached the Dera during the day today. They started inspection of Dera’s Gufa,” said Haryana’s Information and Public Relations Department Deputy Director, Satish Mehra, who has been authorised by the administration to speak to the media.

“The forensic experts were also coordinating with other teams which were already inside taking part in the sanitisation and search operation,” Mehra told reporters. A number of Dera followers who had parted ways with Ram Rahim have told the media earlier that except for the Dera chief and his close aides, nobody was allowed to enter the ‘gufa’ or private area of his residence.

The woman, who had dared to complain against Ram Rahim, had alleged that she had been sexually exploited by the dera chief after being called there. She had said that prior to her exploitation, she would see some of the girls coming out of the ‘gufa’ weeping.

Girls were deployed as security persons at the entrance of a ‘guffa’, the victim had said. Mehra said various teams engaged in the sanitisation process are working as per the directions given by Court Commissioner, who was appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

He said five boys were found inside the dera premises today, two of whom are minor. “The minor boys hail from Kaithal (in Haryana) and Uttar Pradesh. Both have been handed over to the District Child Protection Officer,” Mehra said.

When asked what they were doing inside the campus, he said the District Child Protection officer will quiz them about this. “Regarding other three we are asking them about their whereabouts and will later send them home,” he said.

He said a walkie-talkie set has also been recovered from inside the dera today.

“Whatever articles are being found, the district administration has taken these into their custody and will follow the orders given by the Court Commissioner,” Mehra said. The sanitisation exercise is being conducted amid tight security by police and paramilitary personnel, besides senior officials of various government departments.

The process, which began around 8 am, is being videographed and monitored by retired District and Sessions Judge A K S Pawar, who was appointed as a Court Commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday to oversee the exercise.

The Haryana government had filed a plea on Friday seeking permission for the sanitisation process under judicial supervision, after the conviction of the sect chief, now in a Rohtak jail.

The HC appointed a court commissioner for the purpose earlier this week.

A report of the entire exercise will be submitted to the high court by the court commissioner, with a copy to the state government.

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