DAYS AHEAD of the verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, deputy commissioners and SSPs held meetings with representatives of the Dera and officials of various departments across the state on Monday. Representatives from BSF, Armed Battalion, Rapid Action Force, Punjab Commandos and CRPF also took part in the meetings. Besides, a flag march is also being conducted in all the districts.
Security has already been stepped up near Naam Charcha Ghar of the Dera across the state and the district administrations, SSPs have appealed to the people on Monday to maintain peace and not to fall prey to rumours. Malwa Punjab has a large base of Dera followers and there are over 500 deras of the Sacha Sauda in the state out of which a majority are in Malwa region only. In Muktsar, DC Sumit Jarangal and SSP Sushil Kumar had called a meeting with the local representatives of the Dera in which Rajesh Kumar, Sunil Kumar, Harji Ram, Amarjit Singh and few others from Malaut and Lambi blocks of the Dera took part. “The Dera representatives have assured us of maintaining peace and stated that one should be aware of antisocial elements,” said Jarangal.
Meanwhile, Ram Singh, member of the political arm of the Dera Sacha Sauda, told The Indian Express, “We have got no instructions from the Dera and hence we are organising our regular satsangs at Nam Charcha ghars across the state. These are our regular features.” Moreover, Naam Charcha Ghars are observing August as the month to celebrate the birthday of the Dera chief.
At the meeting in Sangrur, representatives of BSF, CRPF, Punjab commandos, etc, also took part, said SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu. Meetings also took place in Fazilka, Ferozepur and Bathinda as well. Officials even visited the local deras. Police and district administrations have asked people not to post anything provocative on social media and that no one should try to hurt the sentiments of other religions.
The verdict on the Dera head’s case will be declared on August 25 and it has been learnt that the Dera followers have already started gathering in Panchkula and Sirsa. The Dera head is to appear in court in person on August 25. However, it is all quiet at Salabatpura, the largest Naam Charcha Ghar of the Dera after Sirsa, and all other Naam Charcha Ghars, though followers these days are meeting for daily satsangs and even holding them at home as well.