CHANDIGARH: Violence may erupt in Haryana tomorrow after the quantum of sentence is pronounced against Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, state's intelligence agency cautioned today.
"It has been reported by IG/CID that the situation is tense and violence may again continue for several days, especially on August 28, when the quantum of punishment will be announced," an official statement quoting Additional Chief Secretary, Home Department, Ram Niwas, said.
However, Haryana DGP B S Sandhu assured that maintaining law and order would be the top priority for the police tomorrow.
"The top priority now is to ensure that law and order is maintained when the sentencing of convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief takes place in Rohtak tomorrow," he said.
To ensure that there is no repeat of the violence that erupted in Panchkula last week when thousands of Dera followers gathered around the CBI court that convicted Singh, all routes to the Sunaria jail in Rohtak, where the self-styled godman has been lodged, have been sealed.
As many as 103 'Nam Charcha Ghars' (congregation centers) of the Dera in the state have been "sanitised", he said.
The process to sanitise Dera's headquarters in Sirsa will be undertaken tomorrow, he said.
Officials said the Dera headquarters is witnessing a steady exodus of its followers who had gathered there in large numbers ahead of the verdict. Security agencies are also on maximum alert, they said, adding that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has been monitoring the entire situation.
Fifty-year-old Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been lodged in the Sunaria jail after his conviction in Panchkula on Friday.
CBI judge Jagdeep Singh had held Ram Rahim, guilty of rape in a case that was registered on the basis of an anonymous written complaint in 2002 that he had sexually exploited two female followers.
Minutes after the sect head was convicted, his followers who had gathered in thousands over past few days in Panchkula, unleashed mayhem. 38 people died and over 250 were injured in the violence which broke out at Panchkula and Sirsa.
The CBI filed a charge sheet against the Dera head in an Ambala court in July 2007 about five years after the registration of the rape case.
The BJP-led Manohar Lal Khattar government in Haryana drew sharp criticism from different quarters after the large scale violence and arson.