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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Punjab The Latest as it comes

It’s hard to find dera chief

Kiran Deep

Tribune News Service

Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has once again become unapproachable following a threat to his life.
Even public meeting has been also banned for the past two days. The dera chief used to appear before the public in the morning and the evening to address his followers in a ground near the administrative block of the dera.
He would reach the stage by driving himself a two-seater small car, escorted by police personnel and personal guards in separate vehicles, from his residential complex in the dera called “Gufa”.
Just as he would enter the ground from the dera's huge gate, his followers always break into singing spiritual songs.
But now, there are many who do not wish to talk about the dera and are skeptical about its functioning.
But for the past few years, the dera had been facing allegations on the murder of journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati and Ranjeet Singh, who was a member of the 10-member committee of the dera, and sexual exploitation of a woman.
However, dera chief spokesman Aditya Arora had denied the allegations levelled against the dera, stating that the CBI had been investigating these three cases.
It was a conspiracy by some politicians to involve the dera in the cases and tarnish its image.
As the recent controversy surfaced, the newsmen had been allowed to meet the dera chief to get the answer of their queries in the first three days of the controversy.

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