Ram Rahim Singh rape case: Army deployed in Panchkula, Sirsa as Punjab and Haryana remain on high alert

Chandigarh: The army was Thursday called in the highly sensitive Panchkula and Sirsa districts to deal with any law and order situation that may arise in the wake of Friday's court verdict involving head of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

File image of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. AP

File image of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. AP

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar Thursday spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Defence minister Arun Jaitley and apprised them of the emerging law and order situation ahead of Friday's court verdict in Panchkula, official sources told PTI. The army has been called in the two sensitive districts, Panchkula and Sirsa, they said.

Earlier, the Haryana government had sent a requisition for deployment of army in these two districts, the sources said.

Thousands of Dera followers have gathered in both the districts in an attempt to show solidarity with the sect chief, who is set to appear before a CBI court in Panchkula which is expected to pronounce verdict in a 15-year old sexual exploitation case.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court Thursday came down heavily on the Haryana government for allowing the huge gathering of Dera Sacha Sauda followers at Panchkula and asked the Centre to immediately provide adequate force.

Officials have also announced that Sirsa city and three nearby villages will be under indefinite curfew from 10 pm onwards as a precautionary measure.

According to sources, Haryana had sought 25 army columns for Panchkula. The force is likely to reach the two districts by tonight, they said.

Earlier, both Union ministers Singh and Jaitley, assured Khattar of all help to deal with any situation that may arise after the court delivers its verdict in the sexual exploitation case.

In a telephonic conversation, Union home minister Singh, who is in Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan, took stock of the law and order situation in Haryana in view of the large number of followers of the Dera chief arriving in Panchkula, Chandigarh and nearby areas ahead of Friday's court verdict.

The chief minister briefed Singh and Jaitley about the steps taken by the state government to maintain peace in the state, and both assured Khattar of help, the sources said.

The Centre has already rushed more than 15,000 paramilitary personnel to Punjab and Haryana. The two states, where Dera Sacha Sauda has a large following, are on a high alert.

Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 22:17 PM

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