Sadhvi rape: Punjab, Haryana on high alert in wake of verdict on Dera chief; internet may be shut

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Updated: August 22, 2017 8:11:26 PM

Meanwhile, the security has been put on alert in Punjab and Haryana ahead of the verdict. Security personnel have also been deputed around the Dera at Sirsa in Haryana.

gurmeet ram rahim singh, gurmeet ram rahim singh insan, dera sacha sauda, dera chief, sirsa, hisar, panchkula, Sadhvi, Rape, court, MSG(Photo from MSGTheFilm’s FB page)

Various parts of Haryana have been put on high alert because a special CBI court in Panchkula will pronounce its verdict in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25. The head of the Sirsa-headquartered sect has been asked to appear in person before the court the same day. Haryana DGP Baljeet Singh Sandhu has reviewed security measures on various routes and districts from Sirsa to Panchkula. Security has been beefed up ahead of the verdict just in case it goes against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Also, police officials are keeping a close eye on social media as well. According to a report in Dainik Bhaskar, if social media creates law and order issue then authorities may consider shutting internet services as well, Haryana DGP Baljeet Singh Sandhu said. However, no decision has been taken yet to shut the internet in the state.

The arguments of the prosecution and the defence in the case had concluded on 17th August. “The court will now pronounce its verdict on August 25 and the Dera chief has been directed to appear in person at 2:30 pm,” CBI counsel, HPS Verma told media.

Punjab, Haryana on high alert

Meanwhile, the security has been put on alert in Punjab and Haryana ahead of the verdict. Security personnel have also been deputed around the Dera at Sirsa in Haryana, officials said.

The Punjab and Haryana governments had sought central forces to deal with the situation if the verdict goes against the Dera chief.

The chief secretaries and DGPs of Punjab and Haryana had met the Union Home Secretary in New Delhi and apprised him of the steps taken by them to maintain law and order.

Dera Sacha Sauda has a large number of followers in Punjab and Haryana.

What’s the case?

The sexual exploitation case was registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two female followers. Singh was accused of raping them inside the Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana. The charge sheet in the case was filed by the CBI on July 30, 2007. The Dera chief has denied these charges.

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