A special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police left for the Sunaria jail in Haryana’s Rohtak on Monday morning to question Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in connection with a 2015 sacrilege case.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is lodged in the Sunaria jail since his conviction in 2017 for raping two of his disciples.
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief was named as an accused in the theft of a “bir” (copy) of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of Sikhs.
The four-member SIT, led by Inspector General SPS Parmar, left for the Sunaria jail from Rajpura in the morning, officials said.
The other members of the team are Senior Superintendent of Police M S Bhullar, Deputy Superintendent of Police Lakhvir Singh and Inspector Dalbir Singh.
“It is a process of investigation which we are taking forward,” Parmar told reporters before leaving for Rohtak.
Replying to a query on how long is the questioning of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief expected to last, he said it would depend on whether he cooperates or not and “whether his replies are proper or not”.
He said the SIT has prepared a list of questions for Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Last month, the Punjab and Haryana High Court said the Punjab Police could question the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head in the jail in connection with the 2015 sacrilege case.
The court had, however, said Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh would not be taken to the Faridkot court in pursuance of a production warrant.
The Faridkot court had earlier issued the production warrant against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the case for producing him before it on October 29.
The previous SAD-BJP government in Punjab had handed over three cases — lodged in connection with the theft of a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib from a Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara, putting up of handwritten sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, and torn pages of the holy book found at Bargari — to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The Punjab government, however, had handed over the probe to the SIT of the state police in September 2018, after the state Assembly passed a resolution withdrawing consent to the CBI to investigate these cases, noting a lack of progress in the investigation.
In 2017, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was sentenced to jail for 20 years for raping two of his disciples.
More than two years ago, the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati.
On October 18 this year, a special CBI court in Panchkula sentenced Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and four others to life imprisonment in the 19-year-old murder case of sect manager Ranjit Singh.