State Dera Sacha Sauda head Jora Singh held

Rampura Phul, September 8: The police today arrested Jora Singh, state head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, from the sect’s Salabatpura centre in the district.

He is one of the key figures in the dera hierarchy, for he is said to have been handling the dera affairs after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Honeypreet and Vipassana.

He was absconding after the Rampura Phul police had booked him with eight other Premis on August 25 under Sections 436, 148, 149, 153-A, 143, 120-B and 109 of the IPC and provisions of the Public Property (Prevention of Damage Act), 1985.

They were allegedly involved in setting a Sewa Kendra on fire and inciting other Premis to violence in the wake of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in a rape case.

On September 5, Jora Singh and another Premi, sadhu Sukhdev Singh, of Pakho village were booked under Sections 25, 54 and 59 of the Arms Act after a .315-bore rifle and 66 live cartridges were seized from Jora’s room in the Salabatpura centre.

A police party led by Rampura Phul DSP Jaswinder Singh Chahal arrested Jora from the dera centre on the basis of a tip-off.

“His arrest is crucial to our investigation into cases of violence and arson, for he is an important person in the dera hierarchy,” said Inspector General of Police (Bathinda Zone) MS Chhina.

Jora Singh (70), a resident of Adampur village near Bhairupa township of the district, wielded influence in the dera affairs. As he was close to Gurmeet Ram Rahim, he was appointed head of the dera’s Punjab affairs. Besides, he remained the chief manager of Dera Salabatpura after 2000.

He reportedly dealt with political parties and their top leaders on matters of extending support during elections. In the 2017 Assembly elections, Jora Singh played an important role in dera’s decision to support the SAD-BJP alliance.

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