A day after CBI special court on Friday found the Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples, followed arson and riots by Dera supporters leading to at least 32 deaths and over 250 injured; the police on Saturday raided and sealed over 36 Dera ashrams, including the two in Kurukshetra district.

Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday after incidents of violence a day ago left 32 people dead following the Dera sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction.

Flag marches were held by the soldiers on Saturday morning in 10 places in southwest Punjab’s Malwa belt and Panchkula and Sirsa towns in Haryana.

Meanwhile, prohibitory orders imposed in 11 of the 13 police districts in the national capital in the wake of the violence will continue for now, police said on Saturday.

The day-to-day life of the citizens would, however, not be affected, police said.

Section 144 was imposed in the entire city except for North and Central police districts on Friday night after multiple incidents of arson in the city following the conviction of the rape accused self-styled godman in Panchkula in Haryana.

Addressing the media on Saturday, Delhi Police spokesperson Madhur Verma said the imposition of prohibitory orders would be reviewed after monitoring the situation.

LIVE UPDATES:

09:50 PM IST | Curfew to be relaxed in Haryana’s Sirsa from 6 AM-11 AM tomorrow. 

09:30 PM IST | VisualsDera Sacha Sauda supporters vandalised parts of Sirsa Dairy yesterday. 

07:30 PM IST | There are about 3000-4000 people at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa and they are vacating gradually, Haryana DGP BS Sandhu said while addressing the media. 

“No incident reported in last 24 hours, no trouble in the state. There is absolute peace. Around 34 cases registered so far by Haryana police and 552 people arrested in the entire process. The investigation is underway,” Haryana DGP BS Sandhu. 

06:40 PM IST | Maintained high alert; no incident reported. Sec 144 to continue till further order. Won’t affect normal life: Delhi Police PRO Ram Rahim. 

06:14 PM IST | Haryana Deputy Advocate General Gurdass Singh Salwara sacked after he reportedly carried luggage of Ram Rahim Singh. 

06:10 PM IST | Attack on media condemnable, miscreants who entered peaceful gathering caused violence, says Vipssana Insan, Chairperson, Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa.

05:14 PM IST | People vacate Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Sirsa’s Bajenka village on the orders of Police and Army and also being inspected.

05:10 PM IST | Curfew will be relaxed till 6 pm today, will assess situation, if everything remains peaceful will lift curfew in coming time, says SSP Bhatinda.

04:56 PM IST | Fault was in allowing people to gather in Panchkula when the verdict was coming; should have known that there could be a problem: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh.

.04:48 PM IST | Five pistols and 1 AK-47 and other vehicles has been recovered by the Haryana Police from two vehicles of Dera followers.

04: 25 PM IST | Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh chaired a high-level meeting over law and order situation in the state following the rioting after Ram Rahim Verdict.

Earlier in the day, Punjab CM also thanked people of the state for maintaining peace. He said, “Grateful to people of Punjab for maintaining peace. All steps being taken to ensure law and order not disturbed at any cost.”

The CM further said that the curfew was also lifted in 3 districts, while the State was on alert for 48 hours.

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03: 50 PM IST | Earlier today, Haryana and Punjab High Court slammed Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar for “protecting and extending political patronage” to controversial godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

High Court also asked the state to register a case against those who instigated the widespread violence by Dera followers after the sect leader was convicted of rape.

The High Court bench of Justices S.S. Saron, Surya Kant and Avneesh Jhingan, in its resumed hearing, asked the state about its plans to sanitise the Dera Sacha Sauda located in Sirsa town, some 260 km from here, which is reported to still have thousands of followers inside.

Getting tough, the judges also slammed state Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma for having recently given a grant of Rs 51 lakh to the Dera. Read More

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03: 25 PM IST | Former Haryana CM, BS Hooda has asked the Khattr-led BJP government in Haryana to resign on moral grounds. “Govt must resign on moral grounds. If it doesn’t, Centre must impose President’s Rule here,” said Hooda.

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02: 55 PM IST | Haryana Police on Saturday said the jailed godman Ram Rahim Singh will not be brought to Panchkula for the sentencing on Monday.

CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh while convicting the Dera chief in the 2002 rape case and sexual exploitation of two female disciples, said the quantum of punishment for the 50-year-old sect leader would be handed out on August 28.

Ram Rahim was flown in a helicopter, specially arranged by the Haryana government, to Rohtak. He is lodged in the District Jail at Sanoria, about 10 km from Rohtak.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) B.S. Sandhu told the media here on Saturday that the sect chief would not be brought back to the Panchkula court over security concerns.

“The sentencing will either be done through video conferencing or, if required, the court will be held there (Rohtak prison),” the DGP said, adding that the judge (Jagdeep Singh) will be taken there. Read More

02: 24 PM IST | GOC Hisar Range, Maj Gen RS Punia, said that the situation is under total control. “All the forces including Paramilitary, Police and Army are working in a coordinated tone,” he said.

Army in a press conference also refuted any report of Army taking over the Dera headquarters in Sirsa. “Military has no plan as of now to take over Dera premises. We are here to take stock of the situation,” he said.

Maj Gen RS Punia also thanked the people of the city in maintaining law and order situation by working along with the forces. 

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02: 11 PM IST | Launching an attack on the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) over the mayhem following the CBI court conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case, Congress has demanded President’s rule in the state of Haryana.

Senior Congress leader, Abhishek Manu Singhvi in a press conference in the capital has also asked Haryana CM Manohar Lal Kahttar to resign from the post for failing to stop te riots.

“You are seeing a naked dance of absolute violence, riots on the street,” said Singhvi. “It is unprecedented that a situation like this came with a notice of seven days, but both the Haryana and the central governments remained mute impotent spectators,” Singhvi added reports IANS.

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01: 51 PM IST | Haryana BJP Incharge, Anil Jain has told the media that the people who died in the riots and arson were Dera supporters.

Anil Jain also confirmed that so far at least 36 Dera Ashrams were sealed by the officials and Dera headquarters at Sirsa is being vacated.

Notably, taking the cognizance of the destruction caused, at least 36 Dera ashrams were sealed, including the two in Kurukshetra district by the Haryana government in areas including Ambala and Kaithal among others. Commenting on the matter, Haryana ADGP said that all the ashrams will be sealed.

This comes in after the High Court had said that all the damage caused to the public/private properties will be compensated by Dera properties.

01: 20 PM IST | Punjab & Haryana High Court asks state govt for details of Ram Rahim Singh’s movable and immovable properties in the state of Punjab and Haryana till next hearing on 29Aug. The High Court has slammed Khattar-led BJP government in Haryana saying, “You let Panchkula burn for political benefits.”

 

District administration and police sealed two ashrams of Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana’s Kurukshetra, today.

01: 10 PM IST | Bhartiya Janta Party president Amit Shah held a meeting with Haryana BJP in-charge Anil Jain at Delhi BJP HQ to discuss the situation.

12: 23 PM IST | Punjab and Haryana High Court hearing the plea challenging preparedness by the Khattar government ahead of the Dera chief verdict has slammed the state government calling it a ‘political surrender’.

The Three-judge bench said, “You let Panchkula burn for your political gain.”

12: 15 PM IST | Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is holding a high-level meeting to review the security situation in Haryana following the violence there that left 30 dead after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s conviction in a rape case.

Rajnath Singh will meet National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Rajiv Jain and other Home Ministry officials at his residence here at 11 a.m.

After a CBI court’s verdict on Friday, the Dera supporters went berserk setting ablaze vehicles and damaging properties in Haryana’s Panchkula town. Following which, the security forces opened fire to control the mob.

12: 02 AM IST | No ‘VIP’ treatment to rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Rohtak jail, clarifies DG Prisons: Refuting all the reports of rape convict Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh getting special treatment in the Rohtak jail, Director General of Police (DG) Prisons, on Saturday said that the former is being treated as a normal prisoner and handled according to the Haryana jail manual.

Speaking to media, DG prisons in Panchkula, KP Singh said, “The Dera chief has been locked up in District Jail, Sonaria at Rohtak and is being treated like a normal prisoner according to the Haryana jail manual.”

Singh also appealed to the media houses to not pay attention to any speculation and avoid publishing incorrect news.

“Some channels and papers reporting on special treatment to Ram Rahim, I clarify he is in Sunaria Jail, not in a guesthouse,” he said.

ALSO READ | At least 30 killed, 200 injured in Haryana, Punjab violence

The clarification from DG prisons came after several reports of giving Ram Rahim special treatment including, air conditioner and mineral water in the District Jail, Sonaria at Rohtak.

11: 45 AM IST | Army, Rapid Action Force and Police have now entered the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda headquarter in Haryana’s Sirsa district. The forces are moving inside to take over the property.

Curfew continued on Saturday in a few districts in south-west Punjab, including Mansa, Bathinda, Patiala, Fazilka, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Malout, Sangrur and Barnala following the violence.

Curfew also continued in Panchkula, Sirsa and Kaithal towns in Haryana.

Educational institutions have been ordered to remain shut at several places in both states until Monday.

11: 40 AM IST | Ram Rahim Singh’s private commandos arrested, ammunition recovered: Chandigarh Police on Saturday arrested 6 private commandoes of the Baba and recovered ammunitions from them.

Speaking to the media, Tajender Singh Luthra, DGP of Chandigarh said, “We have detained 81 people in preventive sections and 6 private commandoes of the Baba have been arrested.”

Speaking further, Luthra said that they have recovered ammunitions from the arrested people. “Petrol cans and the stains on their clothes assure that they were involved in the riots happened in Panchkula,” he added.

Luthra also said that the situation in Chandigarh was tensed but under control· “Our border points have been sealed so as to keep an eye on every person and a car passing by,” he said.

The DGP assured that any of the miscreants are not allowed to enter the city and only those who are from family and regular visitors have been given access as of now.

“There has been no physical or materialistic harm till now in Chandigarh. We are active 24 hours so as to ensure law and order situation in the state,” he said.

11: 30 AM IST | RECAP: Notably, after the news of conviction against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh trickled down, the supporters turned violent and started rioting in various parts Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan with some minor incidents reported in the national capital as well.

Trial court judge Jagdeep Singh announced the verdict amid unprecedented security. The sect chief was taken into custody following his conviction and was later flown to Rohtak by helicopter to be lodged in a prison.

The towns where curfew has been clamped include Mansa, Bathinda, Patiala, Fazilka, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Malout, Sangrur and Barnala.

Haryana’s Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, where a CBI court gave a guilty ruling against the Dera chief, resembled a war zone. Besides Panchkula, curfew was imposed in Sirsa, headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda where one person died in the violence, and Kaithal towns.

Reports said that over 100 vehicles were set on fire by the rampaging mobs. Government and private buildings were also damaged and some torched. Residents reported seeing plumes of black smoke rising into the sky at several places.

Earlier, in order to prevent any violent outbreak, security was beefed-up in both Haryana and Punjab as violence reached the national capital. The Army was called in the state to deal with situation along with other security forces. Section 144 (curfew) of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) was imposed across Chandigarh, as more than 40,000 of Ram Rahim’s followers have gathered at Naam Charcha Ghar in Panchkula area.

(With Agency inputs)

First Published | 26 August 2017 11:55 AM
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