Updated: August 24, 2017 9:38:33 pm
A day ahead of Dera Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s rape case verdict, tension prevailed in usually peaceful Panchkula on Thursday as thousands of the self-styled godman’s followers descended on this Haryana town. Indefinite curfew would be
imposed in Sirsa town and three nearby villages from 10 pm tonight as a “precautionary measure” to maintain law and order
ahead of tomorrow’s court verdict. Mobile internet services have been suspended for at least 72 hours in both states and joint capital Chandigarh, even as a heavy security blanket has been wrapped around Punjab and Haryana. Police are also keeping a close tab on social media posts, officials said. The authorities also restricted movement of trains and buses towards Panchkula.
The railways has also cancelled 29 trains bound for Punjab and Haryana for four days, beginning today. According to a Northern Railway spokesperson, 22 trains to Punjab and 7 to Haryana have been cancelled. The trains would have made 74 trips over the next four days. Also Read: Punjab and Haryana HC raps Khattar govt, asks Centre to avail additional security
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case verdict tomorrow -Here are the top developments:
1. Indefinite curfew would be imposed in Sirsa town and three nearby villages from 10 pm tonight as a “precautionary measure” to maintain law and order ahead of tomorrow’s court verdict.
2. If need be we have authorised DGP to impose curfew wherever required: Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
3. The Punjab government today declared that its offices situated at Chandigarh would remain closed on August 25.
4. The Army has also been contacted by the state governments to ensure assistance in maintaining law and order.
5. More than 15,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in Punjab and Haryana, a Union home Mministry official said today.
6. As many as 150 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the two states to assist the police forces in maintaining law and order. One paramilitary company comprises over 100 personnel. Punjab and Haryana police forces are on high alert to deal with any law and order situation, the official said.
7. Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim today said he will appear in person before the court that is slated to pronounce verdict in the sexual exploitation case against him tomorrow and appealed to his followers to maintain peace. “I have always respected the law. Even though I am having a backache, still abiding by law, I will go to court (tomorrow). I have full faith in God. Everyone should maintain peace,” the sect chief tweeted today.
8. A notification has been issued to suspend mobile internet services in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh as the situation has aggravated ahead of the verdict against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case. Also Read: Haryana govt suspends mobile internet and data services for next 72 hours
9. Punjab and Haryana high court pulled up Haryana government for not timely applying the right clauses of section 144. Why was assembly not prohibited, asked the court?
10. Haryana BJP minister Ram Bilas said the followers of Dera Chief Ram Rahim are simple and nice people, arrangements for their food and water is being done.
11. Flag marches were carried out by security forces in Panchkula, Sirsa, Hissar and other places while many hospitals
were also put on alert as a precautionary measure, the official said.
12. The state government is video recording each event and putting drones for making surveillance. It will also call the army if needed, said Haryana Home Secretary Ram Niwas.
13. Ram Nivas added: As the situation is aggravating in Punjab and Haryana, the government will be setting up joint control rooms across the state to ensure better coordination. The bus services to Chandigarh has also been suspended.
14. The sexual exploitation case was registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab
and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two ‘sadhvis’ (female
followers) by Ram Rahim Singh.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.