As the verdict in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan is likely to be pronounced on August 25 by a special CBI court in Panchkula, Haryana and Punjab governments are making all possible efforts to avoid any untoward incident occurring in the states. Ahead of the verdict, the Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar-led Haryana government has declared a gazetted holiday in all the government offices and educational institutes of the state. The Amarinder Singh-led Punjab government has imposed Section 144 in the state. Along with it, the government has also declared to keep all the schools and colleges of the state to remain closed on August 25, as per news agency ANI. Days before the likely date of verdict, the states have beefed up security measures. All the schools in Panchkula have also been ordered to remain closed on August 24 and 25. The order is applicable to all government, private, technical, aided and unaided education institutes of the city, said the report.
Along with it, the authorities in Punjab are reportedly making every effort to ensure that law and order is maintained in the region with security stepped in Ludhiana and other areas. Security forces in Haryana and Punjab have been reportedly taking out flag marches at many sensitive places. Haryana government has already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure. Police have set up barricades at several places in the two states, besides their common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.
A case was registered against Dera chief Singh in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about alleged sexual exploitation of two female followers, as per a PTI report. Singh was accused of raping them inside the Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana. A charge sheet in the case was filed by the CBI in 2007. However, the Dera chief has denied these charges.