CHANDIGARH: Dera Sacha Sauda followers started reaching the sect’s Sector-23 based Naam Charcha Ghar three days ahead of the verdict in a rape case against the chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim, at the Central Bureau of Investigation court on August 25, the police are on high alert to act at the hint of a slightest trouble.
Lakhs of premis, as the followers of the religious cult are called, have come from across the country with the sole aim to live and to die for their guruji. The premis have issued violent threats against the government while footage of followers in Panipat show them armed with batons. One of the videos has a young girl heading a group of women wielding lathi in their hands and declaring a possible outbreak if the verdict goes against the their Pitaji, as Gurmeet Ram Rahim is referred to as by the followers.
Surinder Kaur, a premi, has come all the way from Muktsar. “I have come with other women to take blessing of our guruji, we do not care about law enforcement agencies.” She too, like most other premis wears a pendant with the word Insaan inscribed on it.
“We can go hungry for few days for Pitaji, it’s not a big deal for us,” says Harmeet Kaur from Faridkot and adds that they received messages by word of mouth for converging in Panchkula.
“We are getting langar (community kitchen) for the premis reaching the tri-city from far off places,’’ said a local follower.
A Dera follower Ram Kumar who had come all the way from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan said that he reached Panchkula on Tuesday night. He reached Bathinda by train and from there reached Zirakpur by bus. With the security tightened, he had to hide the pendant so as to be not identified as premi. “From Zirakpur I walked all the way to Panchkula,” he claims proudly.
Soni, another Dera follower from Ambala said, “We were told to get off the bus at Banur by police as we were identified as follower and so we had to walk for five hours to reach here.’’