Verdict in Dera chief case tomorrow

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 24 Aug 2017 08:57:47



The sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh has been asked to appear in person in the special CBI court on Friday

A cricket stadium in Sector-16 in Chandigarh has been declared as ‘temporary jail’ that can be used to confine people suspected of creating law and order problem on Friday

HARYANA has been put on alert ahead of Friday’s court verdict in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh with the State Government on Wednesday saying it is not averse to seeking Army’s help to maintain law and order.

The Home Department has declared a cricket stadium in Sector-16, as ‘temporary jail’ ahead of the court judgement in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh on August 25.
Officials have said the ‘temporary jail’ can be used to confine people suspected of creating law and order problem on Friday.

Over 35,000 followers of the Dera are estimated to have already reached and many more are still arriving at the sect’s Sector-23 based ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ (congregation/prayer centre) in Panchkula to show their solidarity with the sect chief, who has been asked to appear in person in the special CBI court on Friday. The cricket stadium in Sector-16, which was associated with early training days of legendary Kapil Dev and has hosted several domestic and international matches.

As a precautionary measure, Government has ordered closure of schools and colleges in Panchkula district on August 24 and 25, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Gauri Parashar Joshi said.

Joshi said that the administration and police were keeping an eye to ensure that law and order is maintained. There is heavy police and para forces deployment near the routes leading to the district court complex in Panchkula, where the lawyers have suspended work for three days from Wednesday to avoid inconvenience to the public visiting the courts.

When asked if Dera chief will appear before the court in Panchkula on Friday, a spokesman of Dera Sacha Sauda said that the sect and its head has always followed law and will do so in future also. “We have always followed due process of law, never have we gone out of law’s purview and never ever will we do so,” he said.

When asked if Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will appeal to his followers to help maintain law and order and peace, he said, “during his Satsangs (at sect head in Sirsa) in mornings and evenings, Guru ji always talks about humanity and things which will benefit humanity. He talks about tree plantation, organ donations, blood donation and helping out weaker sections”.

Security forces in Haryana and Punjab have been taking out flag marches at many sensitive places. Haryana Government has already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure. Police have set up barricades at several places in the two States, besides their common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.

Amid reports that the Dera followers could stock petrol, ‘lathis’ and other weapons at ‘Naam Charcha Ghars’, Punjab police has asked all its SSPs and other top ranking police officials to be alert against any such action by the followers if the court verdict goes against the Dera chief.

Haryana’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said that carrying of any kind of stick or weapon has been prohibited at ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ of Dera followers in the state.

Authorities in Haryana are making every effort to ensure foolproof security arrangements, with a senior official firmly saying that they will not allow a repeat of things as witnessed in November 2015 when there was a two-week tense standoff between the self-styled ‘godman’ Rampal’s followers and the police in Hisar during which five women and a child had died. Rampal was later arrested and close to 15,000 of his followers were evacuated from his sprawling premises in Hisar.

While Haryana DGP B S Sandhu has already toured sensitive districts in the State including Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar and other places during the past few days, his Punjab counterpart Suresh Arora on Tuesday took a whirwind tour of Bathinda, Mansa, Moga, Patiala, Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib and Mohali districts, and checked preparedness.