Illegal skin bank in Indian “godman’s” sect headquarters sealed
An illegal skin bank operating out of the headquarters of the spiritual group of Indian “godman” Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh – currently in jail for raping two of his followers – has been sealed, authorities said on Saturday (September 09).
The sanitation exercise of Singh’s Dera Sacha Sauda, a social welfare and spiritual group, began after a court ordered a search of the sprawling 1,000-acre (400 hectare) compound in Sirsa district of northern Haryana state.
A skin bank, which was being run without license, has been sealed, deputy public relations officer of Haryana, Satish Mehra, told reporters.
An abortion clinic and a ‘body donation scheme’ were also being run by Dera Sacha Sauda.
Reportedly, under the ‘body donation’ scheme, dead bodies were sent to various hospitals for organ donation.
Mehra said no records were maintained of these ‘donated’ bodies. Irregularities had also been found under Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, he added.
Earlier in the day, police had sealed an illegal firecracker factory and seized huge volumes of explosive materials and firecrackers during a raid.
Reportedly, two tunnels were also discovered inside Dera Sacha Sauda with one linking Singh’s private residence to the women’s hostel and one opening about five kilometers away from the premises – possibly an escape route.
Singh was sentenced to 20 years in jail on August 28 after he was found guilty of raping two women followers, in a case dating back to 2002.
Hundreds of followers went on the rampage when he was convicted, attacking train stations, buses and television vans in various part of northern India, but mainly in Haryana state. At least 38 people were killed and more than 200 injured.
Singh also faces charges of murder in two separate cases and is accused of castrating 400 men inside his hermitage to help them get closer to God.