Dera chief leaves Mysore for Delhi quietly

June 23rd, 2008 - 4:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, June 23 (IANS) Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, facing threat to life, early Monday left for New Delhi quietly from the new international airport here under tight security, police said. “The Dera chief boarded a Kingfisher flight to Delhi after he reached the airport from Mysore in the wee hours along with about 30 followers and bodyguards,” a security official told IANS from the airport.

“As he is under Z-plus security category, he was allowed to enter the airport through the VIP gate. He made a quick entry and boarded the aircraft quietly without many noticing his presence,” the official said.

Earlier, the Mysore police escorted the Dera chief to the new airport on the outskirts of Bangalore along with his followers after a two-day stay at his ashram, christened Prarthana Mandir, on a Karnataka state highway.

“Under instructions from higher authorities, we provided protection to the Dera chief to reach the Bangalore airport. For safety and security reasons, I cannot confirm whether he was asked to leave the state in the wake of protests by the Sikh community against his presence in his ashram at Siddalinghapura,” Mysore police commissioner P. Ravindranath said.

The Dera chief came to Mysore, about 150 km from here, late Saturday after he landed in Bangalore from Pune with about 50 followers and personal bodyguards.

A section of the Sikh community staged a demonstration Sunday at a gurdwara here, protesting against the Dera chief’s presence in Karnataka.

The head of the Haryana-based sect, who earned the wrath of the Sikh clergy, got into a fresh row after a youth was killed and two others were injured Friday when his bodyguard opened fire on Sikh protesters in Mumbai at a shopping mall.

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