Within hours of the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, the Centre Friday instructed the Haryana government to ensure security for CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh who held the Dera Sacha Sauda chief guilty. The quantum of sentence is expected Monday.
Officials of the Union Home Ministry said intelligence inputs will be analysed before deciding whether the judge’s security cover needs to be handled by a central force such as the CRPF. Jagdeep Singh is Additional District and Sessions Judge at the Panchkula district court and was designated as CBI judge in April 2016.
Prior to his appointment in the CBI court, only 61 hearings had taken place since 2013 in the case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Ever since he took charge, around 100 hearings were held before the final order. From Haryana, Singh joined the judicial services in 2012. Earlier, he had been practising law in the Punjab and Haryana High Court . He is an alumni of Panjab University.
Sources said Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s Z-category security will be withdrawn following his conviction and arrest. He was accorded Z-level security due to threat from Punjab militants. Official sources in New Delhi said the governments of Haryana and Punjab were instructed two weeks ago by the Union Home Ministry, on the basis of intelligence reports, to make elaborate security arrangements ahead of the verdict in the rape case. Yet thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda followers, sources pointed out, were allowed to assemble in Panchkula.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a series of tweets, urged officials to “restore normalcy”. “The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with the NSA & Home Secretary. The instances of violence today are deeply distressing. I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace. Urged officials to work round the clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance that is required,” he tweeted.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “I have spoken to the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab, and they briefed me about the situation and the steps taken to restore normalcy. Any harm to life and property due to this unrest cannot be compensated by any amount of money.”
Singh also reviewed the security situation in Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Rajasthan and Chandigarh after cutting short his visit to Kyrgyzstan for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) member countries. Singh also spoke to Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje — the states border Haryana.
Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said: “We are monitoring the situation. I have spoken to the Haryana Chief Secretary. The situation is tense but under control.” An official said: “At present, nearly 200 companies have been deployed in the two states. If the state governments need more central forces, we will provide them.”