DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday raised serious questions over the role of Punjab Police in Honeypreet Insan’s run from the law for 38 days after she was booked on charges of sedition and conspiracy to incite violence in Panchkula.
Honeypreet, the closest aide of jailed Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was arrested along with another woman from the Zirakpur-Patiala Highway in Punjab on Wednesday.
Speaking to the media in Panchkula adjoining Chandigarh, after a meeting with the top brass of Haryana Police on the arrest of Honeypreet, Khattar said: “Dal mein kuchh kala hai (Something is fishy about the whole affair).”
The Chief Minister pointed out that the Punjab Police came to know about Honeypreet’s presence in their state much earlier but did not share the information with Haryana Police.
“Punjab Police should have shared the information earlier,” Khattar said.
There are allegations that senior Punjab Congress leader and former legislator Harminder Singh Jassi, whose daughter is married to Ram Rahim’s son, had helped Honeypreet evade the arrest for over a month by using the heavy security cover he enjoys from Punjab Police.
Jassi, who has been targeted by radical elements, including a car bomb blast earlier this year, has been provided a number of armed security personnel, jammer vehicle and police vehicles by the Congress government in Punjab.
For obvious reasons, he is considered close to Ram Rahim, who was convicted and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment by a CBI court in August.
The Haryana Police on Thursday took Honeypreet to Bathinda to question her about her whereabouts when she was absconding and also regarding the activities of the sect.
Punjab government had earlier categorically rejected reports that she was in Punjab Police custody or was, in any way, being shielded by the state government.
Refuting reports in the social media, a Punjab government spokesperson said: “The state was not involved in the case beyond supporting the Haryana Police with intelligence and other relevant inputs.
“There was no question of the Punjab Police taking Honeypreet into custody as there was no criminal case registered against her in the state nor was she in any wanted list,” said the spokesperson.
“The Punjab government would not, at any cost, try to protect a fugitive criminal like Honeypreet who had cases registered against her in Haryana, where she had been declared a ‘wanted criminal’ after she reportedly absconded in the wake of the Dera violence sparked by Ram Rahim’s imprisonment,” the spokesperson said.