The Haryana police aided by the Army and Central Police Forces on Saturday entered the sprawling premises of Dera Sacha Sauda located in Sirsa in the state. Police found close to one lakh people, including women and children, at the headquarters of the sect. The district administration on Sunday relaxed curfew, which had been imposed in the area around the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda. The curfew and restrictions had been imposed on Thursday after the leader of the sect Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had been convicted in a rape case. Restrictions had been imposed in Sirsa on Thursday a day ahead of the special Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) court’s judgment in the case, according to an Indian Express report.
Dera management says that over 50,000 people are still residing inside the camp. Tarsem Singh, a sevadar at the Dera HQ said that the atmosphere inside the camp is that of calm and added that there are no arms and ammunition in the camp. The langar inside the camp is still functional. Singh told Indian Express, ”There is no reason to worry. Dera followers can avail all facilities, there is no shortage of food. If needed we will get more ration”.
Four columns of the army cordoned off the headquarter of the Dera Sacha Sauda on asked followers to vacate the premise spread over a 1,000 acres. Haryana Police and paramilitary forces formed a second security cordon outside the premises, as per the Indian Express.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction in the case resulted in wide spread violence across Haryana, leading to the loss of 36 lives. Over 250 people have been injured in the violence which erupted on Friday. In Sirsa alone, four people have died due to the violence and 58 people have been injured in the violence. Instances of violence have also been reported from Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi, according to an Indian Express report.