Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh rape verdict: Police start removing Dera followers from Panchkula; Ram Rahim asks them to go back in video message; 22 army columns to be deployed tonight

25 passenger trains cancelled, 15,000 paramilitary personnel deployed to prevent any untoward incidents in the event of a ruling against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Published: 24th August 2017 12:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th August 2017 12:32 AM   |  A+A-

Dera followers, known as `Premis’, who were running their own businesses and shops in both Punjab and Haryana have closed their establishments. | (Harpreet Bajwa | EPS)

Express News Service

PANCHKULA: With more than two lakh Dera followers, who call themselves `Premis’, reaching Panchkula ahead of the August 25 verdict by a special CBI court here on the alleged rape of two ‘Sadhvis’ (female followers) by Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the situation is tense.

Haryana police have begun removing Dera followers from Panchkula, and Ram Rahim has asked them to go back in a video message.

Director General of Police Haryana BS Sandhu said, "We have requested the army for deployment to maintain law and order, after which it is sending 22 columns to be deployed in the state, of these 20 will be deployed at Panchkula and two at Sisra by tonight. These columns are coming from the western command in Chandimandir.’’

More than 15,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh apart from the state police. Anticipating trouble if the verdict is not in favour of the Dera chief, mobile Internet and data services across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have been suspended for 72 hours. The railways have cancelled 25 passengers trains coming into the city. Many followers have been stopped in Punjab and Haryana.

Ram Niwas, Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Haryana said that mobile internet services and data services will remain suspended in Haryana, Punjab and the Union Territory of Chandigarh for the next 72 hours with immediate effect.

“The Haryana Government is taking all necessary steps and measures to maintain law and order in the State by stopping the spread of disinformation and false rumours through various social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter on mobile phones and SMS, for facilitating and mobilisation of mobs of agitators and demonstrators, who can cause serious loss of life and damage to public or private property by indulging in arson or vandalism and other types of violent activities,” he added.

He said,"In all, 25 passenger trains coming to Chandigarh have been cancelled after we requested the Ministry of Railways." Buses of Haryana Roadways coming to Chandigarh and Panchkula have already been stopped for two days.

He said this decision was taken at a coordination committee meeting of Haryana, Punjab and the UT held under the chairmanship of the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator, V P Badnore, at Punjab Raj Bhawan during the day. A notification for blocking mobile internet services and data services is being issued.

A Joint Control Room of Haryana and Punjab police would be set up at Control Room, Sector-9, Chandigarh, where one police officer from both states would be deployed for better and effective coordination between the police forces to maintain law and order in view of the court judgment.

Niwas said that as per earlier orders, Section 144 had been imposed in all districts and carrying of any kind of weapon had been prohibited. Dera followers are being relocated from sensitive areas. Besides extra police force, 18 companies of paramilitary forces would also be available by the evening.

Ten senior IPS officers have been deployed and two Additional Director General level officers of the Police Department have also been appointed to ensure peace and help maintain law and order in the state. In addition, 10 duty magistrates have been appointed at various locations. Action is being taken by the civil and police administration on the basis of intelligence inputs as and when received, he added.

Meanwhile, the Haryana Government has set up a State Riot Control Centre at Police Headquarter in sector-6, Panchkula.

The Haryana Government has declared the Chaudhary Tau Devi Lal Stadium Complex, Sector-3 in Panchkula and Dalbir Singh Indoor Stadium in Sirsa as ‘Special Jails’ with immediate effect, till further orders. The Sonipat district administration has ordered that all petrol pump operators will install CCTV cameras at the petrol pumps in the district.  All liquor vends in Panchkula have been closed from today till August 26.

The offices of Punjab government in Chandigarh will remain closed on Friday. The State Mega Job Fair scheduled on August 25 at venues throughout Punjab have been postponed.


In a message posted on his Facebook which was later tweeted from his official handle, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh said he would go to the court on August 25 despite his back pain as he respected the law and appealed to his followers to keep calm as they believed in god.


Punjab and Haryana High Court today asked the Union Government to forthwith provide forces, including paramilitary force. The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Surinder Singh Saron and Justice Avneesh Jhingan said it did not want a situation similar to the Jat reservation stir.


If anyone wants to travel between Chandigarh and Delhi by air, one will have to pay eight times the usual fare. Air tickets which cost Rs 1,800 till yesterday shot up to Rs 16,000 and is likely to go up further.

"The prices of air tickets have shot up, I had to go to Delhi to get a visa, but the airlines have hiked their prices too high, so I requested the concerned embassy and postponed my trip for a week,’’ says Dipinpreet Singh a businessman.

A travel agent on condition of anonymity said that the airlines have hiked the prices based on the demand and supply. During Jat reservation stir too the prices had been hiked.


Dera followers, known as 'Premis’, who were running their own businesses and shops in both Punjab and Haryana have closed their establishments and those working in the private sector have taken leave, converging at their respective Nam Charcha Ghars from where they have started in small groups towards Sirsa where the Dera headquarters is located and also to Panchkula. They are all ready to camp at night on roads and other places before tomorrow’s verdict.


Sirsa district administration has decided to impose curfew in Sirsa city, where the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters is located, and nearby villages of Bajekan, Shahpur Begu and Nezia Khera from 10p.m. August 24 till further orders. District Magistrate of Sirsa Prabhjot Singh said these orders must be complied with strictly and people in these places should not leave their homes after 10 PM today. 

The army is on standby, and the Haryana government has asked for 20 columns of the army to be deployed in the state mainly in Panchkula. It is likely that around six columns of the army might be sanctioned would be stationed in Panchkula, said sources.


Even as the Army was put on standby to avert any trouble, Punjab Chief Minister has authorized the DGP to impose curfew, if necessary, to maintain law and order in the state. He said the Western Command of the army was on standby to tackle any eventuality arising out of the judgment, expected on Friday afternoon.

He said he had authorised the state Director General of Police to take any decision he deemed fit, including imposition of curfew if needed, in order to ensure the safety and security of the people.


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