With a CBI court likely to pronounce soon the verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, police in Punjab and Haryana were on Wednesday put on alert as both states sought central paramilitary forces to maintain law and order.

Top officials of Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday apprised the Home Ministry of the situation in the two states ahead of the impending verdict of a CBI Special court in Haryana’s Panchkula city adjoining Chandigarh, which has been hearing the case since 2007.

The Chief Secretaries and Directors General of Police (DGPs) of Punjab and Haryana met Home Secretary-designate Rajiv Gauba in Delhi for over half an hour on the law and order measures put in place to handle any law and order situation, a Ministry official told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Ministry sources said the state officials sought central forces in case the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court’s verdict went against the sect chief.

The Panchkula court heard the case on Wednesday and, since the arguments could not be concluded, will hear it on Thursday as well.

The sect chief, who has lakhs of followers in Punjab, Haryana, and other states, has been accused by a former female follower of raping her more than once inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana, 260 km from Chandigarh.

The sources said the Ministry did not call anybody for the meeting but it was Punjab which had requested for the same.

After the meeting with Gauba, Haryana DGP B.S. Sandhu told the media that he along with other officials informed the Ministry about the current situation in their state.

“We informed the Home Ministry that both the states are ready to handle any situation. Law and order is under control and we will not let anyone disrupt it. Police of both the states is ready,” Sandhu said, adding the Home Ministry was also on the same page.

Authorities in Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday asked police in both states to be on alert ahead of the verdict.

Despite charges of murder, conspiracy, and rape against him, the Dera chief enjoys Z-category security provided by Haryana Police and moves around in a fleet of bulletproof luxury sport utility vehicles.

First Published | 17 August 2017 8:22 AM
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