No untoward incident was reported from Sirsa after the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who has been convicted in a rape case, a senior Haryana government official said today.
Speaking to reporters here, IAS officer V Umashankar also said that the district authorities had ordered attachment of the Sirsa-based Dera’s accounts and compensation to those affected in the violence could be given from these.
“There was no report of any untoward incident and I hope that peace will be maintained,” Umashankar said. He said that excluding the permanent residents of the area, many of whom were also Dera followers, the number of others in the sect’s headquarters in Sirsa now was not more than a thousand.
He also said that the deputy commissioner of Sirsa had ordered the attachment of the accounts of Dera Sacha Sauda and compensation to the people affected by violence during the episode may be given from these as per court orders.
Umashankar is presently posted as the Commissioner, Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), but has been assigned special duty to assist the Sirsa administration, which is on a high alert keeping in view the Dera chief’s conviction.
Talking about the possibility of firearms being there in the sect headquarters, Umashankar said that some weapons were in the name of Dera and some were registered in the names of individuals.
He said from the day of Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction by a court in Panchkula on August 25, the state authorities had worked to ensure that the violent mob doesn’t move towards Sirsa where the Dera is headquartered.
We were conscious that if such a mob comes towards the city and indulges in violence and arson, then it would have been very difficult to control and accordingly we deployed our forces, he said.
Our second objective was that if violence occurred, we have to contain it in a specific area and prevent it from spreading, he said. The third objective was to exercise maximum restraint, which was not entirely possible in this kind of situation, but still we had to exercise it and not allow it to escalate, Umashankar added.
He said that six people were killed in violence in Sirsa following conviction of the Dera chief and added that “instigators” of violence will be identified and criminal proceedings will be launched against them.
Further, a joint command of police, Army and administration will take a decision about relaxing curfew imposed in Sirsa, he said. IG (Hisar), A S Dhillon, who was also present, said that maintaining law and order was the top priority of the police and administration.
“We have registered criminal cases in violence and nobody will be spared. Presently our priority is to maintain law and order,” he said. A special CBI court today sentenced Dera Sacha Sauda chief to 20 years in prison.
His conviction in a 2002 rape case last week had triggered massive violence that left 38 dead and scores injured in Haryana.
CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh, who holds the court in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, pronounced the sentence in a special courtroom set up inside the Sunaria jail where Ram Rahim, the 50-year-old self-styled godman, is lodged since last Friday after he was convicted.
The judge was brought to Rohtak by a chopper from Chandigarh and landed in a helipad near the jail located on the outskirts of Rohtak.
The judge pronounced two sentences of 10 years rigorous imprisonment in each of the two rapes that date back to 2002.