Days ahead of a Panchkula court verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Friday said nobody would be allowed to disturb law and order in the state.
“Punjab Police have been asked to remain alert against any attempt to disrupt peace in the state. Peace has to be maintained at all costs to ensure the state’s progress,” he told media persons here.
A Special Central Bureau of Investigation court in adjoining Panchkula in Haryana will pronounce its verdict in the rape case against Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25. The case hearing has been going on since 2007.
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.
Responding to a query, the Chief Minister opposed the Centre’s decision to extend special incentives to hill states and said he would more aggressively pursue Punjab’s demand for similar incentives to border areas and kandi belt in the state.
Punjab’s kandi and border areas had special problems and deserved to be put on par with the hill states in terms of central incentives, he said.
The Chief Minister was talking to reporters at the Punjab Kala Bhavan here after inaugurating a photo exhibition.
As for crop loan waiver issue, Amarinder Singh said the government had received a report on the issue and study it before taking appropriate decisions in the interest of the Punjab farmers.
In June, Punjab had announces a waiver of loans up to Rs 2 lakh for small and marginal farmers and a flat Rs 2 lakh relief for all marginal farmers, irrespective of loan amount.
The decision was based on an interim report of an expert group headed by eminent economist T. Haque, which was tasked with suggesting ways and means to help the state’s distressed farmers.
Additional loan liability needed to repay farm loans was a necessity for helping the farming community, the Chief Minister added.