Cops rule out human bomb theory

Chandigarh, India - A day after another Dera follower immolated himself in Bathinda, Punjab police ended up with egg on its face when it admitted error in deciphering the intelligence department report on five Bathinda women. Senior officers on Monday said the intelligence department had identified some potential self-immolators belonging to the Dera Sacha Sauda, who were mistakenly portrayed as human bombs.

Bathinda police was apparently rapped by the government for releasing their pictures and hanging them on walls across police stations in the state.

Dera chief spokesperson Aditya Insaan said Punjab police was hell bent on defaming the Dera by levelling one charge after the other. He said like the human-bomb theory, self-immolation was another ploy to paint the Dera in bad light.

Intelligence chief Shashi Kant had already stated that his report was "twisted." ADGP (law and order) Chander Shekhar, who earlier made human bomb claims, also clarified that he was quoted "out of context".Senior officers said the intelligence report was prepared apprehending a volatile situation that could be triggered following a suicides by premis. They said the atmosphere was already tense as the hearing on sect head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Ambala court approached nearer. The officials informed that preventive arrests had been made after getting information from the intelligence department that a number of Dera followers had planned to immolate themselves on August 15 to register their protest.

On Sunday, the Dera had demanded a judicial probe into the police declaring five women as suicide attackers and said their photographs were put up without even a case being registered against them.