Dera violence Day 2: Haryana sacks Deputy AG for carrying Ram Rahim's luggage, says the self-styled godman won't be produced in Panchkula
Army units patrolled several places through the night across the two states that were affected in the Friday mayhem leaving nearly 250 others injured. Curfew continues on Saturday in a few districts.
PANCHKULA/SIRSA (HARYANA): The Haryana government today suspended the DCP of Panchkula over yesterday's violence that erupted following the rape conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, as the situation in the state remained tense but under control.
The Army, meanwhile, said it has no immediate plan of entering Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters in Sirsa and that it is focusing on maintaining law and order, reacting to reports that it had entered the premises.
The death toll in the violence and arson by the frenzied followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda, rose to 36 today with more deaths reported from government-run Sirsa Civil Hospital.
Among other developments today, the state government terminated the services of Deputy Advocate General Gurdas Salwara on the recommendations of Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan. This action cOMES after a video clip purportedly showing that Salwara, in lawyer's robes, carrying a suitcase of the Dera head, immediately after his conviction by a CBI court in Panchkula yesterday.
On the other hand, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today castigated the Manohar Lal Khattar government over the deadly violence, saying it had "surrendered" before the Dera followers of Dera for "political considerations".
At a special hearing, the court minced no words in slamming the chief minister for "protecting" the Dera followers and extending political patronage to them.
The Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice S Singh Saron, Justice Avneesh Jhingan and Justice Surya Kant, was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Panchkula resident who had raised law and order concerns and stated that over 1.5 lakh people had reportedly entered the district earlier despite prohibitory orders.
Haryana DGP B S Sandhu, while interacting with the media persons, said that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh won't be produced in Panchkula.
The Sonaria jail in Rohtak, where the self-styled godman is confined in right now, will be turned into a court. No person will be allowed around the prison campus on Monday, when the quantum of punishment will be announced for Ram Rahim.
Claiming that there was an absolute peace at the state, the top cop also added that no violent incident had been reported in last 24 hours.
"Weapons, petrol bombs also recovered in Panchkula. Three petrol bombs and cans seized in Karnal. Process is underway to sanitize Dera, to see that there are no weapons or any such thing present," Sandhu said.
The DGP also added that 24 vehicles were impounded by police in Panchkula. During that, 5 pistols (79 rounds), 2 rifles (52 rounds), AK 47, iron rods, hockey sticks were also recovered.
Talking about casualties, Sandhu said that so far, 30 have died in Panchkula, while 6 in Sirsa. 269 people have been injured till now.
"34 cases registered so far by Haryana police in the entire process. 552 arrested, an investigation is underway. There are about 3000-4000 people at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa and they are vacating gradually", said the state top cop.
Key updates: Day 2 of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh rape case conviction aftermath
7: 37 pm: 552 people arrested, an investigation is underway: Haryana DGP BS Sandhu. (ANI)
7: 31 pm:
7: 20 pm: There are about 3000-4000 people at Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa and they are vacating gradually. No incident reported in last 24 hours, no trouble in the state. There is absolute peace: Haryana DGP BS Sandhu. (ANI)
6: 37 pm: Maintained high alert. No incident reported. Sec 144 to continue till further order. Won't affect normal life: Delhi Police PRO on Dera violence threat. (ANI)
6: 00 pm:
5: 40 pm: Haryana Deputy Advocate General Gurdass Singh Salwara sacked after he reportedly carried the luggage of Ram Rahim Singh. (ANI)
5: 20 pm: Haryana: People vacate Dera Sacha Sauda Ashram in Sirsa's Bajenka village on the orders of Police and Army and also being inspected. (ANI)
5: 14 pm: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh won't be produced in Panchkula: Haryana DGP B S Sandhu.(ANI)
5: 10 pm:
Our efforts remain to make it possible through video-conf; if judge is required then everything will take place in Sonaria Jail: Haryana DGP pic.twitter.com/hhmOsRfOnE— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2017
5: 00 pm: Curfew will be relaxed till 6 pm today, will assess the situation, if everything remains peaceful will lift curfew in coming time: SSP Bhatinda. (ANI)
4: 50 pm: Fault was in allowing people to gather in Panchkula when the verdict was coming; should have known that there could be a problem: Amarinder Singh. (ANI)
4: 40 pm: In a press conference today, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh says that there has been no death in the state so far, after the breakout of Dera violence yesterday. (ANI)
4: 20 pm: 17 casualties, post-mortem underway; 90 people were admitted last night, no case of bullet injury: CMO, Civil Hospital, Panchkula. (ANI)
4: 15 pm: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today chaired a high-level meeting over law and order situation in the state, following the Dera chief rape case verdict. (ANI)
4: 00 pm:
3: 30 pm: Civil hospital doctors say the death toll in Sirsa rises to 4 with 2 more deaths reported today. (PTI)
2: 50 pm: 24 men, 3 women and a child have died in Panchkula so far due to Dera violence. Another Three deaths have been reported from Sirsa: Haryana Chief Secretary Depinder Singh. He also said that those who are injured are not Panchkula residents. The identity of the deceased people is being established, while no local resident has come up to claim the bodies. (ANI)
2: 15 pm: Senior Army official says no plan so far to enter Dera headquarters in Haryana's Sirsa, maintenance of law and order top priority. (PTI)
2:10 pm: No special treatment was being extended to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh inside in Rohtak's Sunaria jail, Haryana DGP (Jails) K P Singh said today. (PTI)
1:45 pm: Police intensify vigil in Rajasthan after five men were arrested for arson in Sriganganagar district in the state last evening, following Ram Rahim's conviction.
1:44 pm: 600 Dera Sacha Sauda followers in Haryana taken into custody, say TV reports.
1:44 pm: Haryana chief secretary says Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's 'Z plus' security withdrawn after his conviction. (PTI)
ANI reports, "No VIP treatment given to Ram Rahim Singh, he was taken through a helicopter purely on security considerations: Haryana Chief Secretary"
1:40 pm: "People who died were Dera supporters. 36 Dera Ashrams sealed and the Dera at Sirsa is being vacated", says Anil Jain, Haryana BJP Incharge.
1:30 pm: Security has been tightened in Puri, Odisha, after locals near a Dera Sacha Sauda ashram on the Puri-Konark marine drive last evening, protested the violence unleashed by Dera followers.
1:25 am: "DG Haryana assured situation is under control. Situation in Punjab, Rajasthan & Delhi is normal," says Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi, after meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (ANI)
1:20 am: Amidst chorus for resignation, Haryana CM Khattar to hold press conference at 3 pm today, as per television reports.
1:10 am: Convicted chief Ram Rahim's bodyguards booked,; two supporters charged. (TV reports)
1:00 am: Punjab & Haryana High Court slams Haryana government, says, "you let Panchkula burn for political benefits." (ANI)
12:20 pm: Punjab CM Amarinder Singh said, "Briefed by DGP; situation peaceful, curfew lifted in 3 districts, relaxed in all others. State on alert for 48 hrs."
12:15 pm: Search of all 'congregation centres' of Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana ordered, says Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas. (PTI)
11:45 am: Army conducts flag march in Punjab's Mansa.
11:35 am: High level meeting begins at Home Minister' Rajnath Singh's residence. Home Secretary, NSA & IB Chief also present, reports ANI.
11:32 am: The Canada government has issued a safety advisory for its citizens in India.
11:20 am: The Army has entered the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Haryana's Sirsa. There are still thousands of Dera followers inside the sect headquarters, around 260 km from here, sources said.
11:05 am: DG Prisons says no `special treatment` given to Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
10:45 am: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar admits lapse of government in restraining angry Dera followers from committing violence; under pressure to resign. (TV reports) READ up to:
10:30 am: District administration and police seal nine ashrams of Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana's Kurukshetra. 2,500 lathis recovered. (PTI)
10:25 am: Situation under control on Day 2. No gathering and no incident of violence since yesterday. Adequate force deployed, says Delhi Police. (READ FULL REPORT HERE)
10:14: Curfew relaxed in Punjab's Patiala, Bathinda and Ferozepur towns for four hours, while in Haryana it was relaxed in Kaithal town. (IANS)
10:00 am: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to hold a high-level meeting today to review the security situation in Haryana. (READ FULL REPORT HERE)
9 am: Western Railways cancels 6 trains and partially cancels 2 trains in wake of law & order situation in Punjab & Haryana. (ANI)