Chandigarh : The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Haryana police on Tuesday filed a charge sheet against Honeypreet Insan and fourteen others accused in connection with the August 25 violence in Panchkula and Sirsa following Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction.
The violence had left 41 people dead and scores injured. Honeypreet, who claims to be an adopted daughter of the Dera chief, and eleven others have been charged with sedition, criminal conspiracy, besides other offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Three others have been charged under Section 216 of the IPC (Harbouring offender who has escaped from custody or whose apprehension has been ordered) for giving shelter to Honeypreet when she was on the run, Panchkula Police Commissioner A S Chawla said.
The charge sheet was filed by the SIT headed by ACP, Panchkula, Mukesh Malhotra, before the court of chief judicial magistrate in Panchkula.
A lookout notice, and later an arrest warrant, was issued by the Haryana Police against Honeypreet before she was arrested last month. The Dera chief has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for allegedly raping two female disciples.
Honeypreet and the eleven others, including Dilawar Insan, Surinder Dhiman, and Chamkaur Singh, have been charged under Sections including 121 (waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the government) and 121-A (conspiracy to commit offences) of IPC.
Another key Dera member Aditya Insan, who is absconding, was charged as among the conspirators along with Honeypreet for the violence after Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction.
Honeypreet, whose real name is Priyanka Taneja, currently in judicial remand in the Ambala central jail since October 14, was arrested by the Haryana police on October 4.
Cash recovery from Chamkaur Singh and documents seized from Honeypreet are among evidences that form part of the 979-page charge sheet, according to officials.
During Honeypreet’s remand, the police had recovered a mobile phone, a laptop, some credit and debit cards and documents of properties and education-related certificates belonging to her.
Notably, Honeypreet had travelled with the dera chief in a helicopter when he was airlifted from Panchkula to Rohtak’s Sunaria jail after his conviction in rape case. Later, Honeypreet went into hiding for 38 days before her arrest on October 4 from the Zirakpur-Patiala highway.
According to the police, as many as 173 FIRs with nearly 1,000 Dera followers as accused for attacking security forces and damaging public property have been registered so far.
Panchkula police commissioner Chawla said the SIT had completed the formalities before presenting of the charge sheet.
According to the rules, the investigating team has to take an approval from the government before charge-sheeting the accused in a sedition case for waging war against the state.
About some of the absconding accused, Chawla said the police was hopeful of arresting them soon. “We can also put up supplementary challans in the case later,” he said.