WHILE THE Panchkula police still awaits the court decision on its request that prouncement of the orders in the Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case involving Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim be done through videoconferencing, the district has been put on high alert ahead of the verdict on January 11.
Tightening the security, various nakas have been laid in the city. Concertina wires have also been put up at the area around the district court complex in Sector 1.
Panchkula Commissioner of Police (CP) Saurabh Singh told Chandigarh Newsline, “All necessary steps are being taken so as to prevent what happened on August 25, 2017. We have sufficient force and as and when the situation warrants, we will seek additional force.”
About the Naam Charcha Ghar in Sector 23, he said, “We are keeping a close watch on what’s happening at all such places.”
Dera chief Ram Rahim is lodged at the Sunaria jail in Rohtak. He is serving a 20-year term in a rape case. Following his conviction on August 25, 2017, violence broke out in Panchkula and 41 people were killed.
Sources said that a close watch on all dharamshalas, hotels and various other stopovers is being kept. Hotels have been given directions by local station house officers to allow people to stay only after proper verification with identity card. They have also been told to maintain proper record of every entry and exit of people.
Another official of the Panchkula police said, “We are planning to make the area around district court no-vehicle zone in the coming week. Also, we have learnt that every week, satsang is held in Sector 15 as well. We are keeping a close watch there as well apart from the naam charcha ghar in Sector 23.”
Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, residents’ welfare associations of sectors which were affected on August 25, 2017 — the day of violence — have directed to keep their security gates closed on January 11.
Subhash Papneja, general secretary of the Sector 16 Welfare Association said, “We have told our security wing to keep the gates closed on January 11. Only one gate would remain open and entry would be done with due verification. Fear is that even if the court allows verdict through videoconferencing, there may be followers here since the order in any case has to be pronounced by the special CBI court.”
There are 10 security gates in this sector. The mob had torched a few buildings, a bank and a hotel in Sector 16 on August 25.
The worst affected was Sector 2 which was closest to the Panchkula court complex. As the followers had entered the residential area, Sector 2 welfare association installed nine new security gates.