Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh verdict: Army called in Panchkula, curfew in Sirsa1 min read . Updated: 24 Aug 2017, 10:02 PM IST
Haryana govt seeks 25 army columns for Panchkula, puts Sirsa under indefinite curfew ahead of a court verdict on sexual exploitation cases against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Chandigarh: The army was on Thursday called in the highly sensitive Panchkula and Sirsa districts of Haryana to deal with any law and order situation that may arise in the wake of Friday’s court verdict involving head of Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
According to people aware of the development, the Haryana government had sought 25 Army columns for Panchkula. The force is likely to reach the two districts by Thursday midnight, they said.
Officials have also announced that Sirsa city and three nearby villages will be under indefinite curfew from 10pm on Thursday as a precautionary measure.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday spoke to Union home minister Rajnath Singh and defence minister Arun Jaitley and apprised them of the emerging law and order situation ahead of the verdict in Panchkula.
Thousands of Dera followers have gathered in both the districts in an attempt to show solidarity with the sect chief, who is set to appear before a CBI court in Panchkula which is expected to pronounce verdict in a 15-year old sexual exploitation case.
Punjab and Haryana high court came down heavily on the Haryana government for allowing the huge gathering of Dera Sacha Sauda followers at Panchkula and asked the Centre to immediately provide adequate force.
Earlier, both union ministers Singh and Jaitley, assured Khattar of all help to deal with any situation which may arise after the court delivers its verdict in the sexual exploitation case.
In a telephonic conversation, Union home minister Singh, who is in Cholpon-Ata in Kyrgyzstan, took stock of the law and order situation in Haryana in view of the large number of followers of the Dera chief arriving in Panchkula, Chandigarh and nearby areas ahead of tomorrow’s court verdict.
The chief minister briefed Singh and Jaitley about the steps taken by the state government to maintain peace in the state, and both assured Khattar of help, the people said.
The Centre has already rushed more than 15,000 paramilitary personnel to Punjab and Haryana. The two states, where Dera Sacha Sauda has a large following, are on a high alert.