The Army was called to rein in the rampaging Dera Sacha Sauda followers, who gathered at the sect’s headquarters here, following its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in a rape case today. The police and administrative officials confirmed that the Army was summoned to control the large number of angry Dera followers at the sect’s headquarters.
“We have called the Army to control the Dera followers, so that there is no loss of life or property. We are trying to maintain the law-and-order situation in the area,” Ashwin Shenvi, Superintendent of Police (SP), Sirsa, told PTI. A top police officer said two companies of Army personnel were summoned from Hisar district to maintain law-and-order in Sirsa.
Scores of jawans, including 15,000 paramilitary personnel, have been deployed in the sensitive areas across Punjab and Haryana to deal with any eventuality in the aftermath of a CBI court verdict against the Dera chief. A curfew has been imposed in the city with the police making frequent announcements, urging the residents to stay indoors and also to warn the Dera followers against taking law into their own hands.
Enraged by the conviction of the self-styled godman, thousands of his followers went on a rampage, setting vehicles, buildings and railways stations ablaze in parts of Haryana and Punjab. At least 17 people were killed and more than 150 injured in the violence that left a trail of destruction and vandalism, a Haryana government official said.
A special CBI court at Panchkula, Haryana today found Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty in a rape case. The quantum of punishment will be announced on Monday.