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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Verdict: Armed Dera Sacha Sauda Followers Have Stocked Fuel and Food

Director General of Police (Law and Order) Punjab, in a letter to all the senior police officers of the state had said “it has come to the notice that Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa premises, has stock of petrol, diesel in drums.”

Subhajit Sengupta | CNN-News18SubhajitSG

Updated:August 25, 2017, 4:56 PM IST
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Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Verdict: Armed Dera Sacha Sauda Followers Have Stocked Fuel and Food
Security arrangements in Panchkula. (Pradip Pradhan, Network18)
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New Delhi: As reports of violence erupting in Panchkula, just minutes after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape by a CBI court, pour in, it is imperative to note that followers of the self-styled godman had stocked themselves up with arms, police had said last week.

Ahead of the Friday’s order in the sexual assault case against controversial self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, intelligence inputs had told CNN News18 last week that his followers had stored petrol, diesel in drums and are stocking sharp edged weapons and stones at the prayer centre of the Dera Sacha Sauda premises.

Director General of Police (Law and Order) Punjab, in a letter to all the senior police officers of the state had said “it has come to the notice that Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa premises, has stock of petrol, diesel in drums.”

The letter also said that stones and sharp-edged weapons are being stored at ‘Naam Charcha Ghars’ (prayer centre) in Faridkot district. The police fears that if the court verdict goes against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, then his “devotees can use petrol and weapons to harm/destroy the government or public properties”. Both Haryana and Punjab were put on high alert ahead of the court order. As a precautionary measure, government also ordered closure of schools and colleges in Panchkula district on August 24 and 25. About 160 companies of central forces have also been called in, including the CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB. Ninety seven companies of CRPF’s Rapid Action Force and a women’s company were also deployed with immediate effect.

Ignoring appeals from the administration and their sect head, a large number of Dera Sacha Sauda followers continued to stay put in Panchkula on Friday giving a tough time to authorities.
Haryana Police assisted by central forces launched a night-long operation to flush out scores of Dera followers gathered over the past four days in Panchkula, but the followers have largely refused to budge.

Security forces are facing a tough situation as many Dera followers remained reluctant to move, with most saying they had come to the town on their own and will move only after the court delivers its verdict.

Security forces in Haryana and Punjab were seen taking out flag marches at many sensitive places. Haryana government had already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure. Police have also set up barricades at several places in the two states, besides the common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.

| Edited by: Ananya Chakraborty
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