Uttarakhand police keep watch on 20,000 Ram Rahim supporters

Uttarakhand Police is keeping a strict watch on activities of nearly 20,000 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted by a Haryana court on Friday in a rape case

dehradun Updated: Aug 26, 2017 20:19 IST
Uttarakhand News,Dera Sacha Sauda,Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
Police frisk passengers at Haridwar railway station following order by the state government to take preventive measures. (HT Photo)

Uttarakhand Police is keeping a strict watch on activities of nearly 20,000 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted by a Haryana court on Friday in a rape case.

Police stepped up vigil on Saturday following alerts from intelligence agencies about presence of Dera followers in Udhamsingh Nagar, Haridwar and Dehradun districts.

Notably, violent protests erupted in Haryana on Friday after the court convicted the self-styled “godman” of raping two women.

According to police record, strength of Ram Rahim’s followers in Uttarakhand is around 20, 000 and half of them come from Udhamsingh Nagar district.

“We are keeping close watch on the movements of Dera supporters in the state. Around 150-200 followers had gone to express their solidarity with their spiritual leader in Chandigarh but they have returned home,” ADG law and order Ashok Kumar said.

“We are also watchful for people coming from Haryana border areas. Although situation is normal in the state but police is on guards for any eventuality as announcement of punishment for Dera leader by the Chandigarh court will be done on August 28,” said Kumar.

Kumar said any supporter of trying to take law in their hands will be dealt strictly by law enforcements agency.

He also asked district police chiefs of three districts to keep a watch round the clock in pockets where concentration of Dera supporters is high and deal firmly with those who try to create law and order problem.

CM asks officials to step up vigilance along interstate borders

Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat directed officials to ensure that police force remains alert on all interstate border areas following the large scale violence perpetrated by the Dera Sachha Sauda chief’s supporters in Haryana.

Rawat got the feedback on the security situation from chief secretary S Ramaswamy and Director General of Police Anil Raturi. At a meeting called hours after the violence and arson spread in Haryana on Friday, he also gave the top officials necessary instructions.

Rawat directed magistrates and police chiefs of districts having the interstate borders to step up vigilance. “Any laxity on the law and order front would not be tolerated,” an official statement quoted the chief minister as telling the authorities.

Officials were also directed to “patiently deal with any untoward situation, in case such a situation arises, and resolve it in a peaceful manner”.

First Published: Aug 26, 2017 20:19 IST