Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, ahead of the crucial judgment in a rape case against him, released a video message on late Thursday night and asked all the Dera followers to return to their homes and maintain peace. 

In his video message, Ram Rahim said, “Whosoever has gone to Panchkula should go back to their homes.  It’s me who have  to hear the court’s judgement and I will go and hear the verdict.”

Asking his followers to maintain peace and respect the law, Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief said, “We all should respect the law and maintain peace.”

“Previously also I have asked people not to go to Panchkula and maintain peace,” Ram Rahim said in his video message. 

Earlier around 10PM on Thursday night, the police had started a massive evacuation process of Dera followers from Panchkula and Chandigarh. It is estimated that there were over two lakh followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect.

“As per the directive of the High Court the police started the drive to take the ‘dera’ followers, who were gathered in large numbers, out of Panchkula,” Director General of Police BS Sandhu informed media. 

Speaking to NewsX, Director General of Police BS Sandhu informed that they have have made all the necessary arrangement to deal with the situation and assured that peace will be maintained at all cost.”

“He said the 20 columns of the Army from the western Command will be deployed in Panchkula late on Thursday night along with the paramilitary and state police forces to handle any exigency,” BS Sandhu further added. 

“We will take the dera followers to the nearby places. The High Court directed the counsel for the dera chief to make an appeal to his followers to vacate the place ahead of his appearance in the court,” Sandhu said.

(With inputs from IANS