By Kiran Deep, Roving Editor, Chandigarh
Many might have seen him presenting dera chief’s point of view on the different news channels, but he is not just the chief spokesperson of the dera, he is the master mind of many dera’s activities. He is the man behind the content of the apology letter issued by the dera chief after the controversy surfaced that he had dressed like Guru Gobind Singh in May 2007. All the senior officials and intelligence officials then were worried about the functioning of Aditya in the dera. He was charging dera followers to stay inside the dera and to remain committed for their cause. The situation was so tense that besides the Centre, chief secretaries of Haryana and Punjab were constantly monitoring every development.
Haryana police today issued a look out notice against Aditya who hails from Mohali for inciting violence on August 25 after the dera chief was convicted in two rape cases. Airports, bus stand and railway stations across the country have been alerted. The dera chief was sentenced to 20 years of rigorous imprisonment in the two rape cases. All this reminds me many incidents of the dera chief’s dress controversy and Aditya Insan activities.
It was May 2007, Gurmeet Ram Rahim had courted controversies by appearing before his followers in a dress resembling Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru in Bathinda district of Punjab. Later the dera chief’s photograph in the same dress was appeared as advertisement in newspapers and led to protest in different parts of India main in Haryana and Punjab.
I had chance to observe his activities during the dera chief’s dress controversy when I was working with The Tribune as Staff Correspondent and posted in Sirsa (2006 to 2008). It was routine for all the reporters many of them from Delhi to attend the press conferences addressed by Aditya Insan inside the dera. The reporters were staying in Sirsa only to cover day to day events. The situation was similar to as was witnessed after the dera chief’s conviction in the two rape cases in Panchkula. A number of incidents of fight between the dera followers and Sikhs were reported from the different parts of Haryana and Punjab. To much worse scenario, four dera followers include a 20 year old girl of Bathinda had committed suicide in 2007 as per the reports.
Usually many press conferences in the dera were held late night. My office-cum-residence was about 10 Kilometer away from the dera and I had to rush immediately to file the story after the press meet. There was always a major power cuts in the district and in the absence of Generator the task was not easy those days. Ten years ago I do not had mobiles phone with high tech facility to file stories and no what’s up.
Designated as the senior consultant and Director Eye Bank at Shah Satnamji specialty Hospitals of Sirsa, Aditya was among the close confidants of the dera chief who was enjoying enormous power. The sources revealed that it was difficult task to convince Aditya Insan for the Apology letter on dress controversy because of dera close proximity with politicians of different political parties. After much persuasion and also issuing warning that if the dera did not made efforts to end the tension then power and water supply of the dera will stopped be and strict action will be taken, then only the dera had issued two letters include one of “Regret” and another of “Apology”, the senior bureaucrat and senior intelligence officials had confirmed.
The dera had released two letters one of “Regret” on May 19 and another of “Apology” on May 27, 2007 stating these in a large interest of humanity which, to some extent, eased out the tension between the dera followers and Sikhs. Aditya was the one who had decided about the content of these the letters. Significantly before the letters were issued by the dera to the media, its content was discussed with then Punjab Chief Minister, Parkash Singh Badal, through government officials involved in the negotiations, the well places sources in the bureaucracy and intelligence had revealed. He was the think tank for the dera. Now after ten years the police is looking for him for his alleged involvement in inciting violence that led dera followers to arson, vandalism and also 32 dera followers wer killed in police firing.