A day before the verdict on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, number of followers swelled up as thousands descended on the city from various states on Thursday. While the number of followers recorded a rise every hour during the day, confusion and anxiety were visible among them. “We are praying for a positive verdict tomorrow,” says Gurjeet Singh, who has been staying at a park in Sector 2 since Tuesday evening. “There are so many rumours about Babaji. All I know is if something adverse is announced against Babaji, anything can happen.”
Earlier in the morning, police personnel and Dera followers came face to face at Sector 5, after a police official allegedly misbehaved with some supporters. The situation was immediately brought under control after a huge police force was deployed and the followers later gathered at a ground in Sector 5.
Those who reached the city on Thursday said they want to see Babaji and convey that people were supporting him. People were seen discussing the case and the possible fallout after Friday’s verdict in groups. “We reached the city today morning. Twenty people from our village came here because we want a glimpse of Pitaji,” says Gopal Singh, a resident of Haryana’s Jhajjar.
Also, the followers were irked by the unavailability of food and water. Dera coordinators said even as more than a dozen such kitchens have been set up in the entire district, police had allegedly stopped the food vans in Panchkula since Thursday morning and food couldn’t reach the followers.
The followers were beuing supplied food from places, including Rattewali, Bator, Barwala, Baltana and other areas. A kitchen had been set up outside the Naam Charcha Ghar at Sector 23. Other than the kitchens, many supporters were coming forward to distribute water and food items. “We had to hide the supply in our own cars so that we could provide food to the followers. Today, police stopped our food vans and they didn’t let our people distribute food in several areas,” said a volunteer at the Sector 23 kitchen.