Mira nayar : Two secret tunnels in Dera Sacha Sauda, one leading from sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s residence — gufa — straight to a hostel of the sadhvis (women followers), and the other, an escape tunnel, were found by security agencies in a search on Saturday.
The security agencies spotted a false wall in Ram Rahim’s huge pink-coloured residence, which was torn down, and that subsequently led to a tunnel that extended to the women’s hostel. There were also indications that with the search operation looming, the Dera tried to cover up the escape tunnel on the second floor by filling it with soil. This tunnel, which stretched five kilometres away from the Dera, was possibly made to be used as an escape route.
Meanwhile, in the crackers factory, nearly 85 cartons of explosive material were recovered. The factory has since been sealed and a forensic team is examining the nature of explosives. Though it is not clear why such a huge volume of explosive material was stored on the campus, the Dera management, in its defence, claimed it was used to make fire crackers.
Among other things found were designers clothes, a number of colourful caps and hundreds of pairs of shoes which Ram Rahim reportedly wore. The Dera headquarters also houses a 7-star MSG Resort and has a replica of the Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Kremlin and Disney World inside its premises, with flashy pictures of Ram Rahim adorning the campus’ walls.
Meanwhile, the Haryana police have arrested three close aides of Ram Rahim, Dera’s Panchkula district in-charge Chamkaur Singh, Daan Singh and Punjab Police commando Karamjeet Singh for trying to help the godman escape from Panchkula during an agitation on August 25 in which 32 people lost their lives.