In Sirsa, the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda, the “sach” shops in the area had a different kind of currency in circulation.
Plastic coins of Rs. 5 and Rs. 10 denomination, had the words “Dhan Dhan Satguru Tera hi Asara, Dera Sacha Sauda Sirsa” engraved on them. These coins were accepted by the shops near the campus which had the word “sach” prefixed before their names.
If a shopkeeper did not have change, he could pay the change in Dera Sacha Sauda currency. The town is dominated by Ram Rahim’s followers and uses this currency frequently. The headquarters spreads over 1,000 acres and has a township of its own with a school, hospital, and a cinema hall.
The shopkeepers who were running the sach shops even had a color scheme for these coins. Following the sentencing of Ram Rahim Singh, the Army has cordoned off the area and the people are now unable to use the coins.
Mukesh Kumar, a resident of Beghu village, located near Dera head quarters, commented,
I have three such coins of Rs 10, but I cannot use them because the entire area near the Dera headquarters has been cordoned off by the Army.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of raping two of his followers at gunpoint and has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. His conviction came with widespread destruction and violence in which more than 30 people were killed and several public properties destroyed. The internet services, schools, and offices remained shut on Monday in Panchkula, Chandigarh, and Sirsa to avoid any violence.