Punjab police in Sirsa to arrest dera chief

Sirsa, India - A Punjab police team arrived at the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda religious sect near here Monday to formally arrest its chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

Police officials said that the Dera chief was not cooperating with them to complete the formality of his arrest and his immediate release on bail.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had earlier granted interim bail to Gurmit Ram Rahim, saying that if the Punjab Police arrested him, he would be given bail immediately. The next hearing of the case is scheduled on Aug 6.

There was tension among Dera followers at the sect headquarters after the police team arrived.

The Dera chief had found himself at the centre of a huge controversy after he attired himself like the 10th Sikh Guru Gobind Singh, angering the Sikh community.

Violent clashes took place between dera followers and Sikhs over the issue in Punjab and more recently in Haryana. A court in Bathinda (Punjab) issued an arrest warrant against in Dera chief in June.

Meanwhile the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is to Tuesday submit its report on the activities of the Dera chief and the sect in connection with the murder of a Sirsa-based journalist Ram Chandra Chhatrapati and allegations of sexual exploitation of women inside the Dera.