Heavy police force was deployed in Doaba region, which includes Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr districts, after Sirsa Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in a rape case on Friday. Following the judgment, Premis (dera followers) remained missing from around half a dozen of local branches (small deras) of the Sirsa dera in Doaba region. Because of less number of dera followers in Doaba, the region remained peaceful. However, partial markets were closed by the shopkeepers in Model Town area after the judgment as a precautionary measure.
Meanwhile, Guru Gobind Singh stadium of Jalandhar has been converted into temporary jail by Jalandhar commissionerate police in case of any untoward incident.
The dera has its branches in Salwara (Hoshiarpur), Jandhusingha, Nurmahal, Dhanowali, Nakodar and Basti area in Jalandhar. It is also learnt that the number of followers in Doaba is not more than some 100s and most of them have either gone to Panchkula or to Sirsa.
A police official informed that there are 10-12 families of ‘premis’ in Ramamandi area and all of them are under police observation. SSP Jalandhar (Rural) Gurpreet Singh Bhullar said that there is all peace on these dera branches and already sufficient number of police force has been deployed here since Thursday.
Some of the followers in Basti area said that after this judgment they are under constant fear that they may be attacked by public and that now they were not moving out of their home. “We fear for our life following the violence in Malwa and Panchkula,” said a follower. On asking about the judgment, he said, whatever court has pronounced we accept that.
Flag March has been taken out in all the four districts of the region and both district administration and police assured to maintain law and order at any cost.
Meanwhile, in a bid to maintain law and order situation in the district in the wake of court order, the Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Varinder Kumar Sharma has declared a holiday in all the educational institutions including government and private schools, colleges and universities of the district on Saturday.
The relatives of Panchkula residents are quite worried here. “My daughter is married in Panchkula and we are worried about them as we have been in continuous touch with them to know the situation there,” said Shashi Chadha.
Railway station and bus stand bore a deserted look.