Fear grips Sirsa after Dera Sacha Sauda chief's conviction 

A sense of fear gripped the municipal town, which houses the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, with supporters gathering in groups.

Published: 25th August 2017 07:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2017 08:58 PM   |  A+A-

Sky in Sirsa turned a dull shade of grey as people react in anger. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

SIRSA: The sky in Sirsa turned a dull shade of grey with plumes of smoke dotting the landscape within hours of the conviction of its most prominent resident Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case.

A sense of fear gripped the municipal town, which houses the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, with people gathering in groups, talking in whispers, only to be shooed away by security personnel.

Curfew has been clamped in the town and internet services continue to remain suspended.

A huge posse of Haryana police contingent, paramilitary forces and RAF barricaded all roads leading to the sprawling headquarters of the sect headed by Singh, a self-styled godman, who besides running the cult is into making and acting in movies.

Barricades have been put nearly three kilometers away from the premises of the headquarters and no one is being allowed entry.

Thick plumes of smoke can be seen snaking up from the area behind the barricade, apparently after his enraged supporters engaged in arson.

Angry supporters of the self-styled godman claimed they are in for the long haul and can "go to any extent" to avenge the conviction.

"We were not expecting the conviction. Baba has worked very hard for us. The fight has just begun," Rajesh, a follower, said.

Women can be seen moving around the streets with wooden sticks with some brandishing them furiously in the air.  Many locals are perched on rooftops and curiously peering out of windows.

Otherwise a ghostly silence prevails in the town as all official establishments and markets remain locked and the streets deserted.

Many parts of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi witnessed violence following Singh's conviction in a rape case, claiming at least five lives so far and leaving over 100 people wounded.

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