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 31 deaths and over 200 injured; the 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.

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.

At least 31 people have been confirmed dead and over 200 injured in 10 Punjab districts and in three Haryana towns, including Panchkula and Sirsa as enraged supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh resorted to large-scale violence following his conviction in the rape case. 

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 9:10 AM
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