Haryana under state of siege ahead of MSG ruling

Geneva Matthews
August 25, 2017

Law enforcement agencies in Punjab & Haryana are on high alert as thousands of devotees of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, have formed a conglomeration in Sirsa.

A court at Panchkula in the northern state of Haryana is expected Friday to deliver a verdict in the case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, dubbed the "guru in bling" for his penchant for garish clothes and jewellery.

The rape case against Ram Rahim dates back to 2002, when a women devotee accused the godman of molesting him for almost 3 years using coercionary methods at the Dera headquarter in Sirsa. Shortly after the sting operation, "Operation Jhoota Sauda", was aired on India TV in July 2007 in collaboration with Tehelka magazine, the CBI filed chargesheets in two cases of murder and alleged rape against Ram Rahim in an Ambala special court. The governments of Haryana and Punjab have beefed up the security sensing trouble by dera followers.

"Section 144 (which bars gathering of more than 4 persons at a place) has been imposed in all the districts of Haryana", the state's Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said in Chandigarh while briefing about the security arrangements.

All schools and colleges in the state would remain closed on August 25.

He added that Dera followers were being flushed out from sensitive areas, he said.

Haryana's Director General of Police (DGP) BS Sandhu has also appealed to the people not to spread rumours and to maintain law and order situation. Truckloads of followers have already started arriving at the premises of the court since the last two days.

Taking into consideration the sensitivity of the situation, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Surinder Singh Saron and Justice Avneesh Jhingan said that it "did not want a situation similar to the Jat reservation stir". Authorities have suspended mobile internet services (including 2G, 3G, 4G, CDMA and GPRS) and all SMS services and all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except voice calls for the next three days, while shops in Panchkula and Sirsa have been shut and stadiums converted into temporary jail complexes.

In order to keep a keen eye on the followers, cops are also planning on deploying drone cameras for aerial surveillance in some areas.

"I have a back pain, but despite that I will abide by the law and will go to the court".

Police have set up barricades at several places in Punjab and Haryana, besides their common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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