Puri: Security has been tightened near a Dera Sacha Sauda ashram in Puri, Odisha after locals protested violence over the conviction of the sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by a court in a 2002 rape case, police said on Saturday.
Condemning violence perpetrated by Dera followers in several places, the protesters staged a demonstration shouting slogans outside the ashram located on Puri-Konark marine drive on Friday evening.
After a large number of people gathered outside the ashram, where some sect members and followers are stated to be residing, armed police personnel in strength were deployed in the area to prevent any flare up, Puri Superintendent of Police (SP) Sarthak Sarangi said.
"Security has been strengthened around the ashram in order to ward off any trouble and law and order problem in the area. Prompt steps have been taken to keep the situation under control," he said.
Stating that a close watch was maintained in the area, the SP said anyone attempting to create disturbances and trouble would be handled with firm hand.
As a precautionary measure, additional security arrangements are also being made in some sensitive localities of the seaside pilgrim town and no form of disturbance would be tolerated, he said.
Personnel from the intelligence wing and police in plain clothes have also been deployed in different areas in and around the town, police said.
Dera followers went on a rampage in Haryana, Punjab and parts of Delhi and Rajasthan after a special CBI court in Panchkula on Friday convicted Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda sect in a rape case.
Updated Date: Aug 26, 2017 14:35 PM