The district administration today relaxed the curfew for five hours in and around Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters here, after restrictions were imposed on August 24. Petrol pumps, shops and other commercial establishments were allowed to open in the area. “I was not able to purchase essential items for my household since Thursday night due to imposition of curfew. I will buy sufficient stock of such items,” Surender Soni, a resident of Begu area near Dera headquarters said.
Curfew-like restrictions were imposed here on Thursday in view of the rape case judgement against sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Tension had gripped the locals on Friday, after the Dera head was convicted of rape by a special CBI court in Panchkula, as the frenzied followers of the sect asserted they were ready to go to any extent to avenge their spiritual leader’s conviction.
Yesterday, several Dera followers made their way out of the sprawling sect premises after police urged them to vacate the place. Around one lakh people, including women and children, were present in the sect headquarters. The conviction of the Dera head triggered arson and violence across Haryana that claimed 36 lives and injured over 250 people. In Sirsa, four people died and 58 have been injured. The violence also spilled over into neighbouring Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi.