Army has no immediate plan to enter Dera headquarters in Haryana's Sirsa: Officer

The Army along with the police and paramilitary forces has put up barricades at entry points of the Dera premises, where tens of thousands of Dera followers, including women and children, stayed put.

Published: 26th August 2017 04:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2017 04:23 PM   |  A+A-

Army personnel take positions after deployment near Dera Sacha Sauda in Sirsa on Saturday following violence triggered by the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case. | PTI

By PTI

SIRSA: Army has no immediate plan of entering Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters here and it is focusing on maintaining law and order in the wake of violence triggered by the rape conviction of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim, a top officer said today.

The Army along with the police and paramilitary forces has put up barricades at entry points of the Dera premises, where tens of thousands of Dera followers, including women and children, stayed put despite an appeal by authorities to leave.

"There is no plan so far to enter the Dera headquarters here. We are focusing on maintenance of law and order presently," General Officer Commanding(GOC), 33 Armoured Division, Rajpal Punia said in a media briefing.

His remarks came after Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas today said that search of all 'congregation centres' of Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana has been ordered.

Punia said that there is a high level of coordination among the police, paramilitary and army personnel on the ground and there is no plan so far to enter the Dera headquarters.

Last night, the Army carried out a flag march in the area. Normal life has come to a standstill due to restrictions imposed by the authorities to prevent any untoward incident.

At least 30 people were killed and 250 injured in the violence, arson and police firing in Haryana yesterday, triggered by the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a 2002 rape case.

Earlier, Sirsa sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Paramjit Singh Chahal said, "There is still no order for the Army to enter the campus. They are only ensuring enforcement of curfew in the area."

The Army and district authorities have been appealing through loudspeakers, asking those inside the Dera premises to leave.

Fifteen Dera followers have been arrested since last night here, police said.

"We will not spare those who have taken the law into their hands. We will take strict action against then," IG (Hisar) A S Dillo said outside the Dera headquarters.

Sources said the Army was last night provided with the map of the sprawling dera campus, which is spread over nearly 1,000 acres and is a township on its own, with schools, sports village, hospital and cinema hall.

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