The Haryana and Punjab state governments have beefed up the security ahead of the verdict on the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan. Thousands of Dera followers have already reached Panchkula where a special CBI court will give its verdict on the case on August 25 and the number is expected to go up. Around 5000 police personnel have been deployed in the city to keep a check on the law and order situation as authorities are anticipating violence in case the verdict goes against Ram Rahim, according to a report by The Indian Express. While it was confirmed that the sector 16 cricket stadium will be converted into a temporary jail, in an unheard of instance, the police is also considering to convert schools and colleges into prisons too.
Here are the areas in Punjab and Haryana which will be affected:
1. The Haryana DGP BS Sandhu while speaking to The Indian Express that people cannot be stopped from entering Panchkula as it has many entry routes. “How can we stop 1.5 lakh people from entering Panchkula? It is a district which doesn’t have one or two entry routes but multiple routes. They are entering Panchkula from Chandigarh, Punjab side and other areas,” he was quoted as saying.
2. However, many police officials in Punjab and Chandigarh fear that there could be a repeat of the Jat Agitation because of which they are taking every possible step. “It is not necessary that the Dera followers will indulge in any untoward incident. But there may be anti-social elements who would take advantage of the situation and try to spark of violence,” an officer said.
3. Places like Bathinda, Muktsar, Faridkot, Ferozepur, Fazilka and Sangrur including many other districts of Punjab will be affected the most as the sale of petrol in bottles or any container from petrol pumps as well as the sale of acid has been banned till August 31.
4. Dera followers have been assembling in large numbers at the sect’s Sector 23 based “Naam Charcha Ghar” in Panchkula ahead of the verdict. With the number of followers swelling by the hour, Chandigarh has already been declared ‘sensitive’, reported PTI.
5. Police and para forces have been deployed near the routes leading to the district court complex in Panchkula to ensure that law and order situation is maintained.