Chandigarh, Sep 8 (IANS) Security agencies and district authorities began search operations at the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana’s Sirsa town on Friday amid tight security and curfew in the area.
The search, which is being video-graphed, is being conducted under the supervision of court commissioner A.K.S. Pawar appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Senior district administration and police officers, along with para-military forces and Haryana Police, were involved in the operation around the sprawling 700-acre campus.
Duty magistrates have been appointed for various zones of the Dera. Officials from police, revenue, health, education, tourism and other departments have also participated.
Bomb disposal squads, commandos, dog squads and locksmiths were deployed.
All roads leading to the headquarters from Sirsa and nearby places were sealed.
Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted on two counts of rape of two female disciples in 1999 by a CBI Special Court in Panchkula on August 25. He was later sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment and is currently lodged in the District Jail at Sunaria near Rohtak.
His conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several other places in Punjab.