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Dera Sacha headquarter Sirsa under siege, essential items scarce

Normal life in Sirsa town, the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, has come to a standstill after the conviction of its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Essential commodities are scarce with shops, petrol pumps and ATMs shut for the past few days.

cities Updated: Aug 26, 2017 13:37 IST
Agencies, Sirsa
Ram Rahim,Ram Rahim rape verdict,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
A man looks at the reception desk of a government building vandalized by Dera Sacha Sauda sect members a day before, in Panchkula.(AP Photo)

Surender Kaur is unable to withdraw money from banks or ATMs for her daily household needs for the last two days while Manjeet Singh is not able to get fuel for his motorbike as petrol pumps are closed after authorities clamped strict restrictions in Sirsa.

Normal life in Sirsa, which is the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, has come to a standstill after curfew-like restrictions were imposed to prevent any untoward incident following the large scale violence by the followers of sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted by CBI court in a 15-year-old rape case.

“For the last two days, I am unable to buy essential items for my household as I have ran out of money and also banks and ATMs are closed. Authorities should ensure that essential facilities are open so that people won’t have to face any problem,” said Kaur, whose house is about four km away from the Dera headquarters.

Rajesh Kumar, who runs a hotel in the vicinity of the sect headquarters, said, “there are been huge shortage of vegetables and essential items. We are only providing accommodation to our guests and no food since Thursday night.”

Milk supply has also been affected adversely in several areas as the agitated followers set a milk plant on fire, located near the sect headquarters.

After the CBI court in Panchkula pronounced the Dera Sacha Sauda chief guilty in the rape case, followers went violent and set a milk plant on fire, police said, adding that flames were doused within a few hours.

Schools, colleges, cinema halls, petrol pumps have been shut as a precautionary measure. Authorities have imposed curfew in areas, which are in the vicinity of the Dera headquarters, on Thursday. People have been asked to stay indoors in the wake of violent protest by Dera followers last evening.

Two companies of Army from Hisar district, ten companies of paramilitary forces – the CRPF and the BSF, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and several companies of Haryana police have been deployed to maintain law and order in Sirsa district.

Inspector General (Hisar range) A S Dillion said that police have been monitoring the situation in and around Dera headquarters.

Shimla goes without milk, dairy products

Supply of milk and dairy products to this Himachal Pradesh hill station was hit on Saturday following curfew and prohibitory orders in neighbouring Punjab and Haryana.

“No packaged milk and dairy products coming from Punjab was supplied to any shop, hotel or commercial establishment,” a milk supplier in Shimla said.

He said the daily supply of bread was also hit as majority of it also came from Punjab.

Reports said there was no supply of milk and dairy products in Solan, Baddi, Parwanoo, Kasauli and Chail towns as well.

Shimla’s daily consumption of milk is around 50,000 litres, most of which is supplied by Punjab’s milk cooperative Milkfed. The cooperative also supplies milk and dairy products like butter, ghee, cottage cheese and curd under the brand name Verka.

Shimla has a population of more than 200,000 people. According to tourism industry representatives, it receives around 50,000 tourists every wRam Rahim convicted of rape, violence ensues: How Haryana’s Khattar govt failed the Dera testeekend.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 12:41 IST