WASHINGTON D.C., USA: The United States Embassy and Consulates in India has issued a safety advisory for its citizens ahead of the judgement of a special court in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
“On August 25, 2017, a verdict is due in the court case of the head of the Dera Sacha Sauda spiritual organisation; high alerts and a ban on unauthorised gatherings are in place in Chandigarh until August 25, and in Panchkula, Fatehabad, Sirsa and Hissar (Haryana) and Zirakpur (Punjab) until August 30, due to the possibility of violence in these areas following the verdict,” said the advisory.
The advisory also suggested the U.S. citizens to avoid large gatherings, follow the advice of the local authorities, monitor local media, and keep in touch with their travel company.
"The local road and rail travel may be significantly disrupted during this period," it added.
The authorities in the state and at the Centre are also taking appropriate measures to ensure no untoward incident takes place in the country.
Around 53 companies of the paramilitary forces and 50,000 personnel of the Haryana Police have been deployed. In addition, the Army has also been alerted.
The administration is also asked to take a stringent action if anyone tries to break the law.
Section 144 has been imposed across Chandigarh as more than 50,000 of Ram Rahim's followers congregated at Naam Charcha Ghar in Panchkula area.
Ahead of the judgement, as many as 74 trains were cancelled for today in view of law and order situation in Haryana.
This took the total number of cancelled trains to 201, including 92 Mail/Express and 109 Passenger trains.
However, mobile internet services remained active in Gurugram and Faridabad.
The possibility of an outbreak of violence in Haryana also affected the cost of air travel. Reportedly, the fare from Delhi to Chandigarh has risen up to as much as Rs. 11,000.