Fugitive Honeypreet Insan, a close aide and “adopted daughter” of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested on Tuesday along with another woman. She will be produced in a trial court in Haryana’s Panchkula on Wednesday, police said.
She was arrested from the Zirkapur-Patiala highway in Punjab while travelling in a Toyota Innova, along with a woman associate, a senior police official told IANS. The police had been on her trail for nearly a month and raids were conducted in Nepal, Rajasthan, Bihar and Haryana.
Confirming her arrest, Panchkula Police Commissioner A.S. Chawla told reporters that Honeypreet would be produced in a court on Wednesday.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Mukesh Malhotra, who is heading a Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted to probe the violence in the wake of the arrest of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief, arrested them, said another police official.
“Since the area from where they were arrested falls in Punjab, we informed our counterparts in Punjab regarding their custody,” the official added.
Refuting rumours that Honeypreet had surrendered and was not arrested, Chawla said: “It was not a surrender. It was an arrest.”
“We need to investigate her role in the Panchkula violence on August 25 and hence we will seek her police remand,” he added.
Earlier in the day, Honeypreet, in an interview to a news channel, said she would surrender before a Panchkula court.
She also talked about moving a bail petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh.
Describing the allegations against her as “baseless”, she told the news channel that she was falsely implicated in a sedition case.
She said she went with her “father” Ram Rahim to the court after his conviction like a daughter and that too with the government’s consent.
Earlier, the Delhi High Court on September 26 dismissed her anticipatory bail plea.
“The plea is without merit. Honeypreet has been evading arrest in Haryana,” Justice Sangita Dhingra Sehgal had ruled on the plea of Honeypreet, who apprehended a threat to her life in Haryana.
“Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case that the applicant (Honeypreet) till now has evaded arrest, discretionary relief should not be granted,” the court had said.
A court in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, had last month issued arrest warrants against top Dera functionaries — Honeypreet, Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan.
All three were booked by the Haryana Police on charges of sedition, inciting violence and being involved in a conspiracy to help the Dera chief escape after his conviction by a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25 on two counts of rape of female disciples in 1999.
The Haryana Police had sounded an international alert against all three.
Honeypreet, in her mid-30s, has been the closest aide of Ram Rahim since 2009.
The woman — who has been claiming to be Ram Rahim’s “adopted daughter” — starred as the main heroine in five films he directed, produced and acted in over a period of three years.
Ram Rahim has been sentenced to 20 years rigorous imprisonment and a fine of over Rs 30 lakh.
His rape conviction led to violence in Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, leaving 38 people dead and another 264 injured. Isolated incidents of violence were also reported from Delhi and several places in Punjab.