Panchkula (Haryana): A court here remanded Honeypreet Insan in six-day police custody today in connection with the violence that followed the Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief’s rape conviction on August 25, which left 41 people dead and scores injured.
Priyanka Taneja (36), alias Honeypreet, who calls herself the adopted daughter of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested from Zirakpur-Patiala road in Punjab yesterday.
“They (Haryana Police) sought 14 days’ remand and following the arguments, the court sent Honeypreet to six-day police remand,” Honeypreet’s counsel S K Garg Narwana told reporters after over-an-hour-long hearing that took place in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Rohit Vats.
Honeypreet was produced before the Panchkula court amid tight security arrangements.
Another woman, identified as Sukhdeep Kaur, who was arrested by Haryana Police along with Honeypreet, was also sent to six-day police remand.
Honeypreet topped a list of 43 people “wanted” by the state police in connection with the violence.
The defence counsel said, “Police claimed that a conspiracy was hatched to incite violence on August 25. She (Honeypreet) was not involved in any conspiracy. How can they implicate her in the conspiracy?”
Honeypreet stood in the courtroom with folded hands and pleaded innocence with tears in her eyes.
“Honeypreet was with the Dera head after his conviction.
In no way she was involved in inciting violence,” her counsel said.
The prosecution sought 14 days’ police remand claiming that she knew at least four to five prime accused in the case.
Earlier, Honeypreet and Sukhdeep Kaur were brought from Chandimandir police station to the Panchkula court complex.
Tight security arrangements were made by Haryana Police with security personnel including commandos being deployed in the court complex and police station.
Honeypreet was yesterday brought to the Chandimandir police station, where she was questioned by a team of Haryana Police.
During questioning, Honeypreet had not divulged much, Panchkula Police Commissioner A S Chawal had said last night.
Haryana Police took her to the civil hospital for medical examination last night.
“Her role in the violence (after Ram Rahim’s conviction on August 25) will be probed,” Chawla had said.
Haryana Police had on September 1 issued a look-out notice against Honeypreet and another key aide of the Dera chief, Aditya Insan, following apprehensions that they might try to “escape from the country”.
An arrest warrant was also issued against Honeypreet, and two key Dera functionaries Aditya Insan and Pawan Insan, after Haryana Police moved an application in Panchkula court.
Her name has been included in an FIR in which Dera functionaries Aditya Insan and Surinder Dhiman, among others, had been booked on the charge of sedition, inciting violence and arson, the police had said earlier.
Following the conviction of the Dera chief, violence had erupted in Panchkula and Sirsa, the Dera headquarters, which claimed 41 lives and left scores of people injured.
The Dera chief has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for raping two women and is now lodged in jail.