Live Updates: Punjab, Haryana on high alert after verdict on Dera Chief’s case

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The district court in Panchkula today declared Dera Chief Gurpreet Ram Rahim guilt in the Sadhvi rape case. Ram Rahim was accused by a woman of his Ashram for sexually assaulting her and had filed a case against him regarding the same in 2002.

After so many years, the Sadhvi finally got justice on Friday 25 Aug, when Ram Rahim was convicted of rape, though his sentence will be announced on 28 Aug. Gurmeet Ram Rahim the Sachha Dera Sauda chief have millions of followers across the country and even abroad. Despite all the borders adjoining Punjab and Haryana were sealed and all the high security installed at every possible entry and exit points in the state, around 5 lakh followers had reached Panchkula to hear the verdict of the court.

According to the information, the followers gathered had done all the preparations to revolt against the government if the decision of the court was announced against the Dera chief and this is exactly what happened.

Following the court’s decision, the army took Ram Rahim Singh into preventive custody, Dera chief will be taken to Ambala Central prison.

Meanwhile, in Sirsi lakhs of people have gathered around the Dera Ashram. The news reporters and media channel people have been asked to move 1 km away from the boundary of the Dera Ashram. A three layer of security has been deployed outside the Dera head quarters. The first layer bearing the paramilitary forces, the second layer constitute the Haryana police and the third layer comprises the horse squad of Haryana Police. Followers moving out of the Dera Ashram were spotted carrying newly made batons and bats.

As soon as the verdict was announced, violence broke out immediately, around five to six hundred supporters tried to break the paramilitary barricades back there in Panchkula. The angry protestors are attacking the media also. Three outside broadcasting vans were turned upside down and one was even set on fire. Several media reporters are stuck between the violent protestors.

Many parts of Punjab are also witnessing the aftereffects of the court’s verdict against Ram Rahim. Two railway stations in Bhatinda are reported to be set on fire, while curfew is imposed in the area. However, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has denied any incidents of violence. Though he appeals to the people gathered in and around the state to maintain peace and warns that anyone violating the rules will not be spared.

Curfew also imposed in Mansa. At around 4 pm, the convicted RamRahim was flown to Rohtak Jail.

A petrol pump set on fire at Malout and violence is accelerating in different parts of the state. 10 people are already reported of being injured badly and are admitted to the nearest hospital for emergency assistance.

The situation is getting violent not just in Punjab and Haryana but districts of  Sriganganagar and Hanumangarh. Taking precautionary steps telephone lines and internet services are banned in these districts announcing high alert in the region. Delhi borders are also sealed and the capital is also on high alert.

Sangrur power grid put on fire and massive smoke clouds can be seen in Panchkula. three Dera supporters are reported to be killed in clashes with the police while according to the reports of Hindustan Times, five people have died.

The angry supporters try to burn down the income tax office in Panchkula.

As the casualties numbers are increasing rapidly and violence is getting out of control in Punjab and Haryana Home Minister Rajnath Singh holds discussions with the Chief Ministers of both the states. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also briefed about the situation.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar calls for an emergency meeting at his residence.

Former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah questions the security steps taken by the state governments after it was already predicted that such violence could break out if the verdict is announced against the Dera Chief. He even asks Narendra Modi to sack Haryana CM for drastically failing in maintaining the law and order in the state and for not taking precautionary measures to ensure peace.

Haryana CM says that Home Minister Rajnath Singh has been briefed about the situations and strict action will be taken against those found disrupting the peace in the state.

Rajnath Singh issues statement defending the Haryana Chief Minister. He says that in a democracy the state government cannot stop the people from moving or peacefully gathering together until and unless they are unarmed. Haryana government could not have stopped the followers of Dera Chief Ram Rahim to gather together to hear the court’s verdict. He said that it was only later that the protestors turned violent that the state government cannot be blamed for it.