Chandigarh: Ahead of the court verdict in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Haryana and Punjab governments have made elaborate security arrangements across the state.
Fearing law and order problem, the Manohar Lal Khattar government has said that it would call the Army, if the need arises, and even impose curfew.
The authorities have deployed hundreds of police personnel and paramilitary forces.
Security forces were carrying out flag marches at many sensitive places in both the states.
Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas has termed the situation as dynamic and has asked the state administration to continuously be in touch with Dera followers for maintaining peace.
Aditya Insan, the Dera spokesperson, on Wednesday said, “I came to know that 8-10 lakh people have reached (Panchkula) and an additional 15-20 lakh will also reach there.”
Two days ahead of the verdict, Gurmeet Ram Rahim took to Twitter to give a message of “selfless service and meditation” to his followers.
“Selfless service, meditation and firm belief are the ornaments in spirituality,” he said in a tweet and also shared a link to a Facebook video of one of his discourses.
All about the rape case
A Special CBI court in adjoining Panchkula in Haryana will pronounce its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief on August 25 (Friday).
The case was registered in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Despite charges of murder, conspiracy, and rape against him, the Dera chief enjoys Z-category security provided by Haryana Police and moves around in a fleet of bulletproof luxury sport utility vehicles.
Tense situation in Haryana, Punjab
The Haryana government said except for offices of essential services, August 24 and 25 would be observed as gazetted holidays in government offices, boards, corporations, and banks in Sectors 4, 5 and 6 of Panchkula only.
The situation at Dera’s ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ in Panchkula was being constantly monitored. Niwas said that carrying of any kind of stick or weapon has been prohibited at ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ of Dera followers in the state.
Reports said that there was a large build up Dera followers in Panchkula and many more were still arriving.
The authorities have ordered closure of schools on August 24 and 25. Teaching work in all the universities and colleges in the state will remain suspended on August 25.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said nobody would be allowed to disturb law and order in the state.
In Punjab, all schools and colleges have been ordered to remain shut on Friday.
State-owned Punjab Roadways will not run its buses towards Sirsa, where the headquarter of Dera is located, from Thursday, while PRTC will stop plying of buses towards Haryana on Friday.
The Haryana Roadways too have decided to suspend its bus service to Chandigarh and Panchkula depots for two days from Thursday, a spokesperson for the transport department said.