AMID AGGRESSIVE posturing by Dera followers ahead of the verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the Haryana government has decided to send two senior officers to Sirsa to monitor law and order apart from deciding to form peace committees.
Senior IAS officer V Umashankar, who is municipal commissioner of Gurugram, and Hisar Range Inspector General of Police Amitabh Dhillon would be going to Sirsa on Tuesday. A senior officer told The Indian Express that if needed, they may hold talks with the Dera management to maintain peace. “We will do all that is required to maintain the rule of law, hopefully, with minimal collateral damage,” said Dhillon. Both the officers were posted as deputy commissioner and superintendent of police, respectively, in Sirsa when there was a conflict between the Dera followers and Sikh organisations in 2008.
The government, meanwhile, has asked the district authorities to form peace committees under the chairmanship of deputy commissioners. Besides, revenue and other officials have also been asked to coordinate with the Dera followers in villages. Contact is being established with Dera people and efforts were on to maintain peace. Haryana Director general of Police B S Sandhu said, “Prominent people from different sections of society and retired officers will made members of these committees.” According to the DGP, they have held talks with the Dera followers as well gurdwara managements. The government has urged the Dera followers to cooperate with the administration in maintaining peace. In the videos, viral on social media, a few Dera followers have warned of extreme steps in case of the Dera chief facing an adverse situation.
According to the DGP, the flag marches would be held in the sensitive areas on Tuesday. The government has also decided to use drones to capture the images of antisocial elements. The government has asked police officers to identify antisocial to take preventive measures. Ahead of judgment day, the police will put up barricades at all inter-state and inter-district borders.
Meanwhile, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Ram Niwas, in a video conference with DCs, SPs, commissioners and police commissioners, asked them to take all possibe steps to maintain law and order. He also urged the Dera Sacha Sauda followers to respect the court’s judgment to be announced on August 25 and help maintain law and order. “The word ‘Premi’ is associated with the names of Dera followers and they perform social service. It is hoped that the Dera followers would present a good example with the same spirit and help in maintaining peace and brotherhood in the state,” he said. “We will not let anyone disturb peace as well as the law and order situation. If anybody does, he will be punished,” warned Ram Niwas.