The Haryana Government has put in place stringent security arrangements for Monday when a Special CBI court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on the convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Sunaria Jail, Rohtak.
Haryana Director General of Police B.S.Sandhu said that police and para-military forces have been deployed in Rohtak and the Army has been placed on standby to help maintain law and order.
Peace is prevailing throughout Haryana and no untoward incident has been reported from any part of the state during the last 24 hours. However curfew continued to be imposed in Sirsa, he added.
Rail service from Delhi to Katra via Ambala has been resumed but rail services to Sirsa and Hisar remain suspended. The movement of traffic in all districts except Rohtak and Sirsa, is normal.
Mr.Sandhu said 52 cases have so far been registered in connection with the violence and arson that erupted especially in Panchkula and Sirsa on Friday after Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted on rape charges by the CBI Court and 926 persons have been arrested. In all, 76 vehicles were damaged, including 53 of Panchkula, and 23 of Sirsa.
He said that out of the 38 persons killed, (32 in Panchkula), 24 had been identified and post-mortem examination had been conducted on the bodies. These include 11 persons each from Haryana and Punjab, and one each from Rajasthan and Uttarakhand.
Six persons were killed in Sirsa and their bodies have been cremated.
As many as 264 persons were injured out of which only 17 were admitted in the General Hospital, Panchkula, including three police personnel.
The ADGP (Law and Order) Mohd. Akil, and IG, CID, visited Rohtak during the day to review the law-and-order situation and issued necessary directions to the security forces.
Mr. Akil said proceedings of the court would start at 2.30 pm tomorrow in Rohtak. “No untoward incident will be allowed to occur and the entire process would be completed in a peaceful manner. If anti-social elements made an attempt to hamper the proceedings or indulge in any mischievous act, strict action will be taken. As many as 23 companies of para-military forces along with district police, Range Police and police forces from other areas have been deployed in Rohtak. Adequate number of women police personnel have also been deployed”, he added.
Replying to a question, Mr. Sandhu said that information about Deras was being prepared. Army and paramilitary forces are deployed outside Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa. People are gradually leaving the Dera and the premises would be searched after the court hearing tomorrow. The district administration Sirsa is holding talks to get the premises cleared.
He urged media persons to forward all photographs and videos and audio clips regarding the incident going viral on social media to Police Commissioner A.S. Chawla. These are being examined.
Mr.Sandhu confirmed that a case of sedition has been registered against Dera Sacha Sauda followers Aditya Insan, Dhiman Insan and others.A FIR had been registered under Sections 120 B, 121, 145, 150, 151, 152 and 153 of the Indian Penal Code on the complaint of Dainik Bhaskar reporter Sanjeev Mahajan, who had been provided police protection. Investigation in this matter is underway.
A case has also been registered against some Dera followers for attacking employees of the news channel News 18, and snatching their car in Sirsa, today. The vehicle has since been recovered.
Urging media persons to exercise caution while covering sensitive areas and places where curfew has been imposed, Mr Sandhu said they should better stay confined to the separate site earmarked for press coverage in Rohtak.
Haryana Police has sanitised 103 ‘naam charcha ghars’ of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa in different districts, and recovered 14 motorcycles, one tractor, four other two-wheelers and one car, besides, a large number of weapons and other objectionable items, he further added.
Meanwhile, all educational institutions, including government and private schools, colleges and other institutions, in Haryana will remain closed on Monday, Additional Chief Secretary, Home Ram Niwas said.
District Administration, Fatehabad has imposed Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the district, prohibiting assembly of five or more persons and carrying of firearms and other weapons, till September 18, 2017. The Administration has also warned the people not to gather in Dera Sacha Sauda and ‘naam charcha ghar’ established in the district in violation of Section 144, as doing so would result in their arrest and sealing of Dera Sacha Sauda or ‘naam charcha ghar’ concerned. District Magistrate, Fatehabad, Dr. Hardeep Singh, said that peace was prevailing in the district and the situation was normal.
In a related development, Haryana Government has extended the suspension of mobile internet services, including 2G, 3G, 4G, CDMA and GPRS, all SMS services and all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except voice calls, in the State till 11.30 a.m. on August 29, 2017.
Besides, internet lease lines in the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa have been suspended till August 29. Any person found guilty for violation of these orders would be liable for legal action.
“The orders have been taken considering the critical law and order situation and to maintain peace and communal harmony in the State, and to prevent any loss of life or further damage to public and private property. 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. Besides, it has been reported by Deputy Commissioner, Sirsa and Superintendent of Police, Sirsa that the devotees may resort to breach of peace and tranquillity, and arson leading to damage to public and private properties, Sirsa being the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda. Since the environment is tense, rumours of different kinds may be spread through broadband and internet lease lines in the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda,” he added.