Ram Rahim rape case verdict Live Updates: A heavy security blanket has been put in place across Punjab and Haryana ahead of the Panchkula court verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Army has been kept on standby and will be deployed in case the situation goes out of control. The central government has assured Punjab and Haryana governments of all possible help to prevent any untoward situation. Punjab government has already imposed Section 144 across the entire state and shut all schools and colleges on August 25. Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s office in a statement said a complete ban has been issued on carrying of firearms until the situation normalises. A special CBI court in Panchkula will pronounce the verdict on Friday. The judgement is in connection with 14 year-old rape case against Ram Rahim. It has been learnt that the Dera Sacha Sauda chief was accused with rape charges of a female devotee in 1999. The CBI took over the investigation in 2002.
Track here for LIVE UPDATES of Ram Rahim rape case verdict
4: 15 AM: As many as 150 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the two states to assist the police forces in maintaining law and order, a Union Home Ministry official said.
4: 03 AM: More than 15,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in Punjab and Haryana ahead of tomorrow’s verdict by a Panchkula court in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, PTI reported.
3: 58 AM: The Chandigah Police tonight warned Dera Sacha Sauda followers of stern action if they try to enter the Union Territory.
3: 27 AM: A young woman from Kurukshetra, who was busy preparing food in open ground in Panchkula to be served to the followers, was quoted by PTI as saying, “We are here for our ‘pitaji’ (Gurmeet Ram Rahim). He is doing so much selfless service for the mankind by taking up several humanitarian tasks. Can’t we even have the right to have his Darshan (see him).”
3: 18 AM: Thousands of followers have also congregated at the Dera headquarters at Sirsa.
3: 09 AM: Many Dera followers have been camping at the Sector 3 park near the Panchkula golf club, under the flyovers on the Kalka-Shimla highway and inside the town in Sectors 2, 4 and other residential areas.
3: 04 AM: Watch Video-
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2017
2: 58 AM: After a rap earlier in the day from the Punjab and Haryana High Court as to how thousands of Dera followers had been allowed to gather at Panchkula ahead of the court verdict, Haryana DGP Sandhu tonight told reporters that the ‘premis’ would be moved out of the town.
2: 50 AM: Republic reported that the Army has been kept on standby in parts of Punjab and Haryana, and will be deployed if the situation goes out of control.
2: 43 AM: An estimated 1.5 lakh Dera followers including men, women and children have gathered in Panchkula, where a CBI court is set to deliver its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh today.
2: 16 AM: The Haryana Police and central forces tonight swung into action to flush out scores of Dera followers who have gathered in Panchkula over the past three days, reported PTI.
2: 03 AM: “Will not budge from location until Baba tells us personally,” said Chamkaur Singh, in-charge of the Panchkula Dera, reported Republic.
1: 46 AM: In total of 60 officers will be responsible for the security of Baba Ram Rahim. We will provide security to Baba Ram Rahim and it’s upto him whether to travel via road or take the aerial route says ADG Haryana
1: 38 AM: Chandigarh Police sends out a stern message, says no Dera supporters will be allowed to enter Chandigarh, reported Republic
1: 35 AM: Watch this video:
— Republic (@republic) August 24, 2017
1: 28 AM: As per the report by Republic, Haryana ADG said, “We will provide security to Baba Ram Rahim. It’s upto him whether to travel via road or take the aerial route.”
1: 20 AM: 400 officers are moving towards Sirsa and will cordon the entire area.
1: 12 AM: Ram Rahim to leave for the Court at 8:30 am. State home department has told him to take a chopper, reported Republic.
1: 03 AM: Dera supporters in thousands make a beeline to the court complex in Panchkula.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2017
12: 45 AM: As Dera followers ‘mob’ court in Panchkula, BJP’s Jawahar Yadav says Govt won’t allow anyone to take law into their hands.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2017
12: 33 AM: BJP spokesperson Jawahar Yadav said that the situation will be under control soon, reported NewsX.
12: 20 AM: As Dera followers gather in large numbers near Panchkula court, former SGPC leader says it is for Government to maintain law & order, reported Times Now.
12: 16 AM: Police is checking all vehicles entering from Delhi to Haryana.
12: 07 AM: In a video message Gurmeet Ram Rahim asks Dera followers to return to their homes and maintain peace.
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2017
12: 03 AM: Internet and cellular services to run normal in Gurugram.
11: 56 PM: As per the reports, all schools and offices in Gurugram to remain open tomorrow.
11: 43 PM: Dera’s another spokersperson Aditya Insan claimed, “Five lakh followers have arrived in Dera. The sect has contributed in various fields to serve humanity,” reported India Today.
11: 28 PM: As per the report by India Today, Dera spokesperson Dilawar Insan said they are in favour of peace but fear that some anti-social element may take some advantage to “defame the sect”.
11: 15 PM: 20 columns of Army will be deployed in Panchkula late on Thursday night along with the paramilitary and state police forces to handle any exigency.
10: 53 PM: Dera sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is likely to appear in a special CBI court in Panchkula at 2.30 PM, as per the report by India Today.
10: 30 PM: Paramilitary forces deployed to evict Dera supporters. Several buses are have been arrange to take people out of Panchkula.
10: 20 PM: As the 10 pm deadline get over, Haryana police have started crackdown on Dera supporters, reported CNN- News 18.
10: 15 PM: Curfew will be clamped from 10 pm tonight till further orders in Sirsa city urban area and three villages — Nazia Khera, Shahpur Begu and Bajekan,” Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh told PTI.
10: 10 PM: We will hold an overnight operation to remove Dera supporters out of Panchkula, CNN- News 18 quoted DSP saying.
10: 05 PM: Buses are being arranged to remove Dera supporters as the deadline to leave Panchkula ends.
10: 00 PM: Reportedly, 10 PM was the deadline given to Dera supporters to leave Panchkula. Police said it will detain those who will not leave after 10 pm.
9: 50 PM: Interacting with mediapersons after a cabinet meeting here, the Punjab Chief Minister said that the Western Command of the Indian Army was on standby to tackle any eventuality
9: 20 PM: Speaking to ANI, Haryana DGP BS Sandhu said, “Panchkula mein adequate force ready hai, aaj raat ko khaali karwayenge. (There are adequate forces in Panchkula and will evacuate Baba Ram Rahim followers from the city.
9: 10 PM: In a recent update by ANI, HP Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) suspends 150 bus routes to neighbouring states from today midnight till tomorrow.
9: 00 PM: Indefinite curfew would be imposed in Sirsa town and three nearby villages from 10 pm tonight as a “precautionary measure” to maintain law and order ahead of tomorrow’s court verdict in Panchkula, reported PTI.
8: 55 PM: Internet services suspended in Sirsa in the wake of Ram Rahim rape case verdict.
8: 40 PM: Here are some major developments in the Ram Rahim rape case verdict:
i. Ram Rahim Singh scheduled to appear before CBI court tomorrow.
ii. He has been accused of raping two women in his Haryana ashram in 2002.
iii. Punjab and Haryana have been put on high alert ahead of the verdict.
iv. Mobile internet services have been banned in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
v. 15,000 security personnel have been deployed at sensitive spots in Chandigarh.
vi. 29 trains in Haryana cancelled.
vii. The Army is also on standby.
Bus services to Chandigarh has also been suspended.
8: 25 PM: Our Guru can never do wrong, we support him. We will remain calm until the verdict comes, a supporter of Guru Ram Rahim told ANI.
8: 15 PM: Directions have been issued for curfew in Sirsa, after reviewing security situation, ANI quoted SP Sirsa Ashwin Shenvi saying.
8: 10 PM: If need be we have authorised DGP to impose curfew wherever required, said Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh.
8: 05 PM: The home minister also spoke to Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and instructed him to provide all necessary assistance to the Haryana government.
7: 55 PM: Reportedly, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar briefed the home minister about the steps taken by the state government to maintain peace in the state.
7: 50 PM: According to PTI, in a telephonic conversation, Rajnath Singh took stock of the law and order situation in Haryana in view of a large number of followers of the Dera chief arriving in Panchkula in Chandigarh.
7: 45 PM: Watch – Mobile internet and data services suspended in the area
7: 35 PM: As per ANI, Punjab government has declared holiday on August 25 for the government offices situated in Chandigarh.
7: 30 PM: According to Times Now, Captain Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government has blamed Centre for unpreparedness and has said that alleged that BJP govt didn’t send enough force.
7: 25 PM: The total numbers of supporters gathered in Panchkula increased to over 1.5 lakh people, including men and women. As per First Post, they are taking shelter on roadsides and public parks.
7: 15 PM: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has recently spoken to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar and has assured him of adequate forces for security in the state, reported ANI.
7: 10 PM: Watch – Bus services suspended in as many as 9 districts of Haryana
7: 00 PM: Security personnel have also stocked pellet guns in order to disperse mobs if situation gets worse after special court judgement tomorrow, reported First Post.
6: 55 PM: Reportedly, security personnel are using drones to monitor situation in Panchkula.
6: 50 PM: Ram Rahim’s supporters gathered at the Pachkula area have refused to heed the high court appeal and will remain there all night, reported CNN- News 18.
6: 45 PM: It is now expected that around one lakh Dera Sacha Sauda supporters have now gathered in Panchkula and it being said that if there is an adverse judgment against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the situation may go out of control.
6: 40 PM: Watch – Followers of Baba Gurmeet chant slongs ahead of court’s verdict
6: 35 PM: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has appealed to supports of Dera Sacha Sauda to leave Panchkula and not gather in such numbers.
6: 30 PM: According to a report by CNN- News 18, even the US Embassy has issued an advisory to US citizens living in Punjab and Haryana. The Embassy has asked people to avoid large gatherings and follow the advice of local authorities. It has also suggested its citizens to keep a track on local media and stay in touch with their travel agents.
6: 25 PM: “We had received a request from the Haryana government to cancel trains in the state in view of apprehensions on the law and order front,” the Railways spokesperson told PTI.
6: 20 PM: As per a Northern Railway spokesperson, 22 trains to Punjab and 7 to Haryana have been cancelled. The trains would have made 74 trips over the next four days.
6: 15 PM: The railways has cancelled as many as 29 trains bound for Punjab and Haryana for four days starting today ahead of the judgement of a special court in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, reported PTI.
6: 10 PM: Watch – Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers pack roads, parks ahead of court verdict
6: 05 PM: Roads adjoining the district court complex and the dividing road of Sectors 1 and 2 will remain closed for the two days, the DCP informed.
6: 00 PM: Speaking to PTI, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Panchkula Ashok Kumar said, “The police and the administration of Panchkula have imposed a complete ban on 24 and 25 August on the movement of vehicles on five roads adjoining the court complex.”
5: 55 PM: A two-day ban on 24 and 25 August has been imposed on vehicular movement on roads near Haryana’s Panchkula district court complex, reported PTI.
5: 50 PM: The court said these are basic preventive measures that could have been taken to avoid violence and uncontrollable situation that spooked up a day ahead of the verdict.
5: 45 PM: According to Indian Express, High Court has pulled up both Punjab and Haryana government for not timely applying the right clauses of section 144.
5: 40 PM: Sirsa’s Dalbir Singh Indoor Stadium and Panchkula’s Chaudhary Tau Devi Lal Stadium Complex to be designated as ‘Special Jail’, reported ANI.
5: 35 PM: Even the Central Government has assured that all necessary actions would be taken to curb any agitation, reported PTI.
5: 30 PM: The High Court has said that it doesn’t want a situation like that of the Jat agitation to take place in Haryana and hence has asked the Centre to deploy additional forces and take strong steps.
5: 25 PM: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has pulled up the Haryana Government over the security arrangements provided in the state, reported ANI.
5: 20 PM: Watch – SSB Stop Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers
5: 15 PM: Around tens of thousands of followers of the leader of the quasi-religious sect Dera Sacha Sauda have gathered in the town of Panchkula.
5: 10 PM: Earlier in the day, Gurmeet Ram Rahim took to Twitter and said, “I have always respected the law. Even though I am having a backache, still abiding by law, I will go to court (tomorrow). I have full faith in God. Everyone should maintain peace.”
5: 06 PM: The CBI court in Panchkula has asked Gurmeet Ram Rahim to remain present in person tomorrow when the verdict in the case will be pronounced.
5: 00 PM: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim today said he will appear in person before the court that is scheduled to announce verdict in the sexual exploitation case against him tomorrow. He has also appealed to his followers to maintain peace, reported PTI.
4: 55 PM: Watch – Dera Followers Having Langer In Sector 3 Panchkula
4: 50 PM: All offices, boards, corporations, agencies and public sector organisations of Punjab Government will remain closed tomorrow, reported ANI.
4: 45 PM: The police forces are keeping a close watch on social media, particularly WhatsApp groups, Facebook and Twitter, and have asked people not to spread rumours, an official told PTI.
4: 40 PM: HP Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) suspends 150 bus routes to neighbouring states from today midnight till tomorrow, reported ANI.
4: 35 PM: Flag marches have been conducted by security forces in Panchkula, Sirsa, Hissar and some other places while several hospitals were also put on alert as a precautionary measure.
4: 31 PM: “We are in constant touch with the governments of Punjab and Haryana. We have given them adequate forces,” said the official.
4: 25 PM: Speaking to PTI, a Union Home Ministry official said that as many as 150 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the two states to assist the police forces in maintaining law and order.
4: 20 PM: More than 15,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in Punjab and Haryana ahead of tomorrow’s verdict by a Panchkula court in a sexual exploitation case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, reported PTI.
4: 15 PM: Section 144 imposed in Haryana, watch video
4: 10 PM: Security tightened and paramilitary forces have been deployed in Sirsa as Dera followers gather on court road in the wake of Ram Rahim verdict, reported ANI.
4: 05 PM: Fearing violence ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on Gurmeet Ram Rahim, around 6,000 police and paramilitary forces had spread out in Panchkula alone, reported AP.
4: 00 PM: “We are here because we stand with guruji. We have come here to support him,” a 20-year-old, who had traveled to Panchkula with 20 family members from the neighboring state of Punjab, told AP.
3: 55 PM: Kumar also said that the police will block mobile internet services if needed as concerns spread over the stockpiling of weapons including lathis (wooden sticks) at the different prayer centres.
3: 50 PM: Speaking to Reuters, Ajay Kumar, Assistant Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, in Panchkula city, said, “The verdict could lead to potential large-scale unrest and violence.”
3:46 PM The government was also mulling a ban on social media platforms in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh by curbing mobile internet services in case the situation warrants, reports Times of India.
3:11 PM: WATCH- Why it will be a challenge for Punjab and Haryana governments on Friday when court verdict will come out against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim.
3:08 PM: Punjab and Haryana police forces are on high alert to deal with any law and order situation, the Home Ministry official said, referring to the court’s verdict on Friday in a sexual exploitation case registered by the CBI against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim.
3:05 PM: As many as 150 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the two states to assist the police forces in maintaining law and order, Union Home Ministry official said.
3:02 PM: WATCH- Punjab and Haryana High Court raps state government and the Centre over law and order situation ahead of court verdict against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
2:58 PM: Video recording each event, putting drones for making surveillance, have sounded the Army, in case of need, can also call Army: Ram Niwas, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary
2:56 PM: More than 15,000 paramilitary personnel have been deployed in Punjab and Haryana ahead tomorrow’s court verdict against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a Union Home Ministry official said
2:53 PM: Have deployed 53 companies of central paramilitary forces apart from around 50,000 personnel of state Police, said Haryana Additional Chief Secretary.
2:50 PM: WATCH- Dos and don’ts if you are in Punjab and Haryana
2:47 PM: These devotees have been requesting Gurmeet Ram Rahim to not appear in the court and have even issued ‘violent’ threats.
2:44 PM: More than 50,000 Dera followers, who call themselves ‘Premis’, have reached Panchkula, and are camping near the courthouse.
2:41 PM: Punjab and Haryana government has said it has been watching the situation for the last three days and directed Intelligence Bureau to give inputs to Haryana government ahead of Ram Rahim verdict.
2:37 PM: WATCH: Will Army be deployed? Here is all you want to know
2:33 PM: Punjab and Haryana High Court to Centre: Will direct army if you won’t do the needful. Centre then assured court that necessary steps will be taken.
2:30 PM: Punjab and Haryana HC says we don’t want a situation like that during Jat agitation to take place in Haryana.
2:28 PM: Punjab and Haryana HC pulls up Haryana government, directs Centre to deploy additional forces, take strong steps.
2:25 PM: 22 trains cancelled in Haryana ahead of court verdict on Friday in a case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
2:23 PM: WATCH- Here is what Punjab and Haryana High Court has to say about law and order situation ahead of Ram Rahim verdict
2:20 PM: “We have been receiving lakhs of calls from our followers. I came to know that 8-10 lakh people have reached (Panchkula) and an additional 15-20 lakh will also reach there,” Aditya Insan, the Dera spokesperson, said.
2:17 PM: The Dera followers have also been arriving in great numbers at the sect headquarters at Sirsa, about 260 km from Chandigarh.
2:15 PM: Ahead of the verdict, a large number of Dera Sacha Sauda followers from various parts of Punjab and Haryana have flocked Panchkula. They could be seen along many roads and also in various public parks.
2:13 PM: WATCH- Here is all about Ram Rahim verdict
2:10 PM: Bus services on many routes has been suspended as a precautionary measure.
2:08 PM: Security forces today conducted flag marches in sensitive districts in the two states, where prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed and educational institutions shut for the next two days.
2:05 PM: “I have always respected the law. Even though I am having a backache, still abiding by law, I will go to court (tomorrow). I have full faith in God. Everyone should maintain peace,” Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh said.
2:02 PM: WATCH- How Ram Rahim’s supporters are backing the spiritual guru
Panchkula turned into a fortress ahead of verdict on rape allegations on Ram Rahim. His army threatens to break. pic.twitter.com/3EWyJdA6Xb
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) August 24, 2017
1:58 PM: The CBI court in Panchkula has asked Gurmeet Ram Rahim to remain present in person on Friday when the verdict in the case will be pronounced.
1:55 PM: WATCH- Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has this message for his followers
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 24, 2017
1:52 PM: WATCH- Here is what Dera Sacha Sauda spokesperson has to say
1:48 PM: In 2014 six people were killed as followers of another popular religious leader, guru Rampal, fought pitched battles with police who were attempting to arrest him for contempt of court after he repeatedly failed to appear in court in connection with a murder trial, according to AP report.
1:45 PM: In 2007 clashes between the Dera Sacha Sauda followers and members of the Sikh faith in north India had left at least three people dead, according to AP report.
1:40 PM: WATCH- Bus services has been suspended in 9 districts of Haryana
1:35 PM: Supporters of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh have flocked to Panchkula
1:30 PM: Terming the situation dynamic, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said the state has got eight additional companies of paramilitary forces and an additional 2,500 police personnel from internal sources have also been mobilised for deployment in different parts of the state.
1:25 PM: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh has confirmed that he will be in the court tomorrow
1:20 PM: According to reports, 97 Central Reserve Police Force (C.R.P.F) including the Rapid Action Force will be deployed in Panchkula during the hearing on Friday.
1:17 PM: WATCH- Police have been keeping tight vigil
1:14 PM: The case was registered by the CBI in 2002 against the self-styled godman after allegations of sexual exploitation of two women followers through anonymous letters. The hearing has been going on since 2007
1:11 PM: For the August 17 hearing, Singh was recused from appearing in person at Panchkula by the court. The Dera chief had cited medical reasons for not attending court in person.
1:08 PM: Ram Rahim was accused with rape charges of a female devotee in 1999. The CBI took over the investigation in 2002. On 17 August, the special CBI court of Panchkula concluded hearing in the case but reserved pronouncing the verdict for 25 August.
1:06 PM: Captain Amarinder Singh has meanwhile once again appealed to the people to maintain peace at all costs and not to get provoked by elements trying to disrupt the state’s law and order.
1:03 PM: The police have seized five walkie-talkies from suspected Dera followers and are moving to identify the various locations suspected to be housing dangerous weapons of any kind.
1:00 PM: WATCH- A heavy security blanket has been put in place in Panchkula
12:58 PM: The Chief Minister has ordered senior officers to personally monitor the situation on the ground, with the DGP visiting the various sensitive districts to review the preparations ahead of the verdict in the sensitive case
12:55 PM: Security has been tightened along the state’s borders with Haryana, as well as the connecting roads to prevent any incursions
12:52 PM: Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked the police officials to fan out across the sensitive districts to ensure that there is no disruption of the law and order in the state in view of the impending order.
12:47 PM: WATCH- Situation in Punjab and Haryana ahead of Ram Rahim verdict
Read Also: 10 unknown facts about Dera chief
12:40 PM: A total of 85 central companies along with thousands of policemen on the ground will maintain a tight vigil, especially in the vulnerable areas of Moga, Bathinda, Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala and Ludhiana
12:38 PM:“The Centre has sanctioned an additional 10 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the state.
12:35 PM: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has ordered withdrawal of 1000 police personnel from VVIP security for deployment on field duty to strengthen the security blanket in the state, said an official spokesperson.