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Army Has no Immediate Plan to Enter Dera Headquarters, Says Officer

The Army along with the police and paramilitary forces has put up barricades at entry points of the Dera premises, where tens of thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda followers, including women and childen, stayed put despite an appeal by authorities to leave.

PTI

Updated:August 26, 2017, 3:47 PM IST
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Army Has no Immediate Plan to Enter Dera Headquarters, Says Officer
The Army and district authorities have been appealing through loudspeakers, asking those inside the Dera premises to leave (TV Grab)
Sirsa: Army has no immediate plan of entering Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters and it is focusing on maintaining law and order in the wake of violence triggered by the rape conviction of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, a top officer said on Saturday.

The Army along with the police and paramilitary forces has put up barricades at entry points of the Dera premises, where tens of thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda followers, including women and children, stayed put despite an appeal by authorities to leave.

"There is no plan so far to enter the Dera headquarters here. We are focusing on maintenance of law and order presently," General Officer Commanding(GOC), 33 Armoured Division, Rajpal Punia said in a media briefing.

His remarks came after Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas on Saturday said that search of all 'congregation centres' of Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana has been ordered.

Punia said that there is a high level of coordination among the police, paramilitary and army personnel on the ground and there is no plan so far to enter the Dera headquarters.

Last night, the Army carried out a flag march in the area. Normal life has come to a standstill due to restrictions imposed by the authorities to prevent any untoward incident.

At least 30 people were killed and 250 injured in violence, arson and police firing in Haryana on Friday, triggered by the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a 2002 rape case.

Earlier, Sirsa sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Paramjit Singh Chahal said, "There is still no order for the Army to enter the campus. They are only ensuring enforcement of curfew in the area."

The Army and district authorities have been appealing through loudspeakers, asking those inside the Dera premises to leave.

Fifteen Dera followers have been arrested since last night here, police said.

"We will not spare those who have taken the law into their hands. We will take strict action against then," IG (Hisar) A S Dillo said outside the Dera headquarters.

Sources said th Army was last night provided with the map of the sprawling dera campus, which is spread over nearly 1,000 acres and is a township on its own, with schools, sports village, hospital and cinema hall.

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