Ram Rahim’s Filmy Escape... If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Cops

As if straight out of a Bollywood flick, Haryana Police IG narrates how cops foiled Ram Rahim’s clumsy escape plan.

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India
5 min read
In true filmy fashion, Ram Rahim plotted to cut and run from the court after his conviction. 
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It’s confirmed, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh plotted a dramatic escape from the Panchkula Court on the day he was convicted.

Singh, who doesn’t think himself less than any Bollywood star, planned to cut and run from the court in true filmy fashion.

Ram Rahim’s Filmy Escape... If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Cops
(Image: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
Baba hatched a rare conspiracy with his supporters to escape from the court if at all he was convicted. And we had no prior information about it.  
KK Rao, IG, Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Haryana

KK Rao, the Inspector General (IG) of the Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB) of Haryana Police, gave The Quint shocking details about what happened on 25 August after the Judge pronounced Ram Rahim guilty of two counts of rape.

Rao said it was the responsibility of the DCP Crime of Gurgaon to bring Ram Rahim to the Panchkula court, and to escort him till the chopper after the verdict was pronounced.

A Plot Straight Out of Bollywood

According to the IG, Ram Rahim pre-planned his escape from the court in case he got convicted:

The moment the judgment was out, baba told us that he needed his red bag from the car as it contained his clothes. We sent someone to get the bag. By the time the bag reached the courtroom, I could see that violence had erupted at least 2 kilometres from the court.
KK Rao, IG, IRB Haryana

The red bag was the signal.

Ram Rahim had briefed his men before leaving for the court, telling them that if they saw a red bag being taken out of the car, that would mean he was convicted – and his supporters should use violence as a distraction to rescue him from the police, Rao said.

Rao also confirmed that this was the same red bag which Deputy Attorney General Gurdas Singh Salwara was seen carrying in a video. The very next day, 26 August, he was sacked by the Haryana Government.

Screengrab of a video in which Deputy AG is seen carrying Ram Rahim’s bag.
Screengrab of a video in which Deputy AG is seen carrying Ram Rahim’s bag.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@branbaba)
We could sense that something was wrong; baba was trying to send signals to his supporters.
KK Rao, IG, IRB, Haryana
Ram Rahim’s Filmy Escape... If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Cops
(Image: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)

The red bag was only step 1 of the plan. After the verdict was out, baba and his ‘daughter’ Honeypreet Singh made their way out of the courtroom and stood outside for no clear reason, said Rao.

By standing outside the courtroom on court premises, he wanted to know whether his supporters had gotten wind of his conviction. When he heard the tear gas being fired, he knew that the violence had broken out.
KK Rao, IG, Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Haryana

According to the police, Ram Rahim tried to stall for time on court premises so that the disruption and violence could build to a head around the court, making his escape easier. By making himself visible, his supporters could more easily keep tabs on where he was at any given time.

Police Think Fast to Sabotage Escape Plan

By then, the police knew it would be a challenge for them to take Ram Rahim to the chopper via their planned route.

Rather than taking baba in his car till the chopper as planned, we decided to take him in DCP Crime’s car instead. We formed a human chain to take him till the car. That’s where our struggle began. 
KK Rao, IG, Indian Reserve Battalion (IRB), Haryana

Police formed a human chain to take Ram Rahim securely to the police car. Seeing the change in the plan, the convict’s personal commandos attempted to break the chain and rescue him, said Rao. This resulted in a major scuffle between police and 7-8 of his loyal commandos, he added.

We strictly directed our men not to fire any shots. It would have further increased the tension of the situation. Somehow, we managed to throw baba inside the DCP Crime’s car. But baba’s men weren’t ready to give up. They continued fighting to rescue their so-called ‘godman’.
KK Rao, IG, IRB, Haryana

New Car, New Route to Foil the Rapist

In the car, Ram Rahim was accompanied by four people, including his adopted daughter Honeypreet, DCP Crime, and other policemen. But if you think the drama ended there, you don’t know Ram Rahim.

The commandos of the self-styled ‘godman’, in total filmy style, threw themselves in front of the car and even climbed on top of the car to stop their getaway. Ultimately, the cops managed to keep their prisoner.

But time was of the essence, and police were anxious to take the ‘godman’ quickly to a secure location before the larger mob reached the court, said Rao, knowing that controlling the unruly crowd of supporters would had been difficult and dangerous.

Ram Rahim’s Filmy Escape... If It Weren’t For Those Meddling Cops
(Image: Rahul Gupta/The Quint)
Only a handful of policemen knew about the route to be taken to evacuate baba from the court. Had more policemen known, we feared it could have led to an intelligence leak. 
KK Rao, IG, IRB, Haryana

Had more policemen known about the plan, there was a high probability that some among the ranks would leak the intelligence to Ram Rahim supporters, said Rao. So the last-minute operation to deviate from the initial planned route to the chopper was carried out in secrecy, and pulled off without a hitch.



 Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a helicopter in which he was flown from Panchkula to Rohtak town, 25 August 2017.
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a helicopter in which he was flown from Panchkula to Rohtak town, 25 August 2017.
(Photo: PTI)

To ensure the convict’s security, Rao asked the Army if police could bring Ram Rahim to the Cantonment area before putting him on the chopper.

I spoke to an Army Officer and briefed him about the crisis. I requested him to allow the police cars inside the Cantonment area immediately when they reach.
KK Rao, IG, IRB, Haryana

Wasting no time, a cavalcade of 3-4 cars rushed Ram Rahim into the Cantonment area. From there onward, DCP Crime accompanied the thwarted Ram Rahim to the chopper and flew him to Rohtak jail.

According to the police, by the time the ‘godman’ and his men could understand what was happening, it was already too late.

Haryana Police was heavily criticised for its failure to maintain law and order despite the imposition of Section 144. Thirty-eight people died and several were injured as the violence in Ram Rahim’s name spread from the epicentre.

Three days later, on 28 August, it was reported that the Dera chief’s security personnel, Ram Rahim’s private commandos, along with members of Haryana Police itself, were booked for attempt to murder, sedition, and trying to prevent police officials from performing their duty.

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