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Raids in Dera Campus: Illegal explosive factory found inside premises

An illegal explosive factory used to make crackers was found inside Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Haryana’s Sirsa on the second day of a search operation being carried out by hundreds of security personnel and local administration. The factory has been sealed.

“Explosive material has been recivered from Dera premises. An illegal factory used to make crackers has been found inĀ the Dera premises. The factory has been sealed,” said Deputy Director (Information and PR departement) Satish Mehra.

Teams of officials and policemen with hundreds of paramilitary troops raided the Dera campus on Friday morning. Nearly 50 videographers, more than a dozen locksmiths and digging machines were taken inside to look for hidden tunnels.

In just two hours of search, the authorities seized a huge amount of cash including plastic money, banned currency, hard discs, one Toyota Lexus luxury SUV and computers.

Five people including two minors were also rescued from the Dera premises.

Curfew continues in the area and bomb squads, commandos, ambulances, fire trucks are on alert for a search led by former judge AKS Pawar, who has also taken along 70 witnesses.

There are multiple check-points near the Dera base and hundreds of paramilitary forces have been stationed in the Sirsa town to check any violence.

Ram Rahim, the flashy “Guru of Bling” known for his colourful costumes and “rockstar” lifestyle, was jailed for 20 years last month after he was convicted of raping two women followers.

In a staggering picture of wealth and power, the Dera headquarter in Sirsa houses a 7-star “MSG resort” with replicas of Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Kremlin and Disney World inside its premises.The campus also has an “international school”, a shopping mall, a hospital, a stadium and a cinema theatre that screens Ram Rahim’s “MSG” franchise movies.

Every building in Dera campus has a flashy photo of the Dera chief.

“The Dera premises is a very huge area and it will take time to complete the entire process,” Haryana police chief BS Sandhu said. A pink building known to be Ram Rahim’s “Gufa (cave)” – the house where the women were raped – will also be searched, the official said.

Violence broke out in Sirsa and Panchkula after the Ram Rahim was convicted of rape on August 25. At least 38 people died in rioting by Dera supporters, say police.

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