New Delhi: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh ‘Insan’ was planning to build a palatial ashram in Darjeeling and had already bought a piece of land in 2012. On Friday, Dera Chief was found guilty of raping two women followers in 2002, by a CBI court in Panchkula.
His plan was to make Darjeeling an eastern headquarters of his organization, and he frequented the Hill station between 2009 to 2012. Later, his close aid would visit to increase the number of followers in Darjeeling.The two acres (approx) land is properly walled and still guarded by few of Baba’s followers.
Sooraj Bhutia, one of the residents of Darjeeling told News18, “They (Gurmeet’s guard) don’t interact much with the local people because, a couple of years ago, they had a spat with the hills people over some issue related to the property he bought.”
A senior police officer said, “He bought the land near Indian National Army Bypass Road, near late Akhil Bharatiya Gorkha League (ABGL) president Madan Tamang’s house in Darjeeling.” He said, “After Dera chief’s conviction, his properties have been seized in other parts of India, and if required, his property in Darjeeling could be also be seized. We will also inquire about Dera Chief’s local contact in Darjeeling and keep a watch on his followers. Though they are less in number, we can’t take any chance as Darjeeling is already tensed.”
Gorkha National Liberation Front’s (GNLF), Neeraj Tamang, said, “Yes, he has a property in Darjeeling and he faced some political problem in giving final shape to his ashram. The property is near INA Bypass Road.” The spokesperson of Dera Sacha Sauda Dilawar Insan was not available for comment.
It was learnt that on April 19, 2012, when a devastating fire raged through the main market square of Darjeeling town, Dera Chief was there in Darjeeling to make his followers in the hills.
He was staying at Regent Hotel in Darjeeling when he saw the fire from his hotel room. He immediately pressed his “Green ‘S’ Welfare Force Wing” to bring the fire under control. Green ‘S’ Welfare Force Wing also has their own fire tender which accompanies Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh wherever he goes.
“Dera Chief, who was looking for an opportunity to be friendly with the locals, organized a camp next morning to market his effort on how his men helped in dousing the fire. But the local people never took him seriously,” Bhutia said. Interestingly, how Dera Chief and his followers ‘saved’ the local people in Darjeeling from fire is mentioned on their website.
One of the paragraphs on the website (referring to the fire incident) reads, “There were other miracles unfolding too. The smaller fire tenders brought in by the other agencies were emptying out at regular intervals. But the fire tender of Shah Satnam Ji Green ‘S’ Welfare Force Wing did not require a single refill because it never became empty. God was at the work.”