Heavy security is deployed in Punjab and Haryana ahead of a Panchkula court’s verdict on a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. In light of the thousands of Dera supporters who descended upon the city this week, the Haryana government imposed an indefinite curfew in Sirsa as a precautionary measure and a 72-hour ban on mobile internet services, except voice calls. As many as 72 trains have been cancelled in view of the law and order situation. The Centre has extended its support and assured adequate security in both states.
This morning, Ram Rahim left his dera in Sirsa to appear before the court in Panchkula. He was escorted in a convoy of 15 vehicles, comprising his bullet proof Land Cruisers and police pilot and escort vehicles. An IGP rank officer and two Superintendent of Police rank officers are accompanying the convoy which will travel 250 kilometres by road over four hours. A large number of vehicles, carrying the Dera chief’s followers, are trailing him.
The CBI had filed a FIR against Ram Rahim, accused of raping two ‘sadhvis’ (female followers), in 2002 and the case came to trial in 2008. On the last day of the hearing, the court had directed him to appear before it at 2.45 pm on Friday — when the verdict is likely to be announced.