- A High Court order suggests there were secret phone calls from Dera sect
- The court asked police to produce details about these phone calls
- Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty of rape; his followers then went violent
But it may not be the only message that went out of Dera Sauda Sacha.
An order by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Saturday - the court's third hearing in two days - suggests there may have been other secret dispatches from the Dera headquarters as well. These may have been picked up by the police eavesdropping into phone conversations of Dera leaders.
"The reports of interception of the messages given by the Dera Sacha Sauda inciting violence shall be submitted in this court in a sealed cover," the order by the high court's three-judge bench led by Acting Chief Justice SS Saron said.
Furious at the conduct of the followers who went on the rampage after the court held Ram Rahim guilty of rape in addition to the state government that had let them gather in such large numbers, the high court also asked the Haryana and Punjab governments to come up with plans and strategy to prevent such kind of incidents in future.
After Ram Rahim's conviction, thousands of his supporters massed near Panchkula's special court went berserk, burning cars, damaging property and targeting residents. The violence spread to other towns in Haryana and parts of Punjab.
The police was able to disperse the mob only after they opened fire in Panchkula, seen as a peaceful second option to adjoining Chandigarh. By the end of the day, the violence had cost nearly two dozen lives. More people admitted to hospital with injuries also died later, pushing the toll .
But the shady phone calls aren't the only evidence to suggest that the Dera hadn't played straight.
"If he stands by the same, FIR (police complaint) be immediately registered against those persons," the court said.
During the hearing, the high court also admonished the Manohar Lal Khattar government for letting the situation escalate and letting the city "burn for political motives".