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Ram Rahim sentencing today: Gurgaon peaceful, attendance low in corporate offices

With the sentencing scheduled at 2.30 pm on Monday, many residents in Gurgaon think it will be safer to stay at home today.

gurgaon Updated: Aug 28, 2017 21:28 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh,Central Bureau of Investigation,Rohtak Prison
Delhi Police on high alert at Delhi Gurgaon Border in Expressway on Monday. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

Fearing unrest in Gurgaon on Monday, as Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was sentenced, employees of most corporate firms and organisations in the city chose to work from home. Many even took the day off.

The self-styled godman’s conviction last Friday for raping two women triggered violence by his supporters in Haryana and Delhi. At least 30 people were killed in Panchkula and a train and two buses were torched in Delhi. Though Gurgaon remained calm, many offices had shut by 4pm and had advised employees to leave.

Anticipating similar incidents on Monday, due to the announcement of the quantum of punishment for the Dera chief, residents put their safety first. “It only takes one person to lead a mob. I chose to work from home today (Monday) rather than put my life at risk,” Aarti Periwal, who works with a software company in CyberHub, said.

Nikhil Bishnoi, who works with an MNC in Cyber City, said he is not taking any chances. “During the Jat agitation in Rohtak, the citizens were sitting ducks for the mob. There was practically no order in the city. Police and armed forces were nowhere to be found. If a similar situation arose in Gurgaon after the sentencing, being out there on the street is not a good idea.”

Managements of most offices reported a low turnout of employees and said they were monitoring the situation throughout the day. “No work-from-home advisory was issued for the employees but the developments in the case were monitored closely and colleagues had been told to check their emails for updates or an advisory. Colleagues were allowed to bring their children to work instead of keeping them in a day care,” Manas Fuloria, CEO of Nagarro said.

Sources in OLA, the cab aggregator, said that they were allowed to work from home on Friday on the day of the verdict but ‘operations functioned as usual’ on Monday.

Employees of Airtel, the telecom company, also reiterated that operations continued as usual and no notice or advisory was issued.

The Gurgaon police had installed barricades and deployed police officials at the entry/exit points along its borders with New Delhi and Faridabad to keep a check on law and order.

The checking process resulted in snarls on the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway as vehicles were being allowed to enter the city one by one, on the service lane near Ambience Mall.

As a precautionary measure, most private schools in Gurgaon had declared an off day on Monday.

Despite this, residents were worried and the Gurgaon police, through its Twitter handle, reassured them.

“@gurgaonpolice safe to go out around gurgaon today afternoon ? (sic)” Aishwarya Tandon tweeted.

In reply, Gurgaon police tweeted. “Respected Mam, we are on each and every point. No need to worry. You can move freely. Citizen safety is our first priority & responsibility (sic)”

“We have deployed force from the police stations and from the police lines. About 1,500 police personnel are on constant vigil,” Deepak Gahlawat, deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) Gurgaon, said.

Gurgaon deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh maintained that the situation is peaceful. “Buses, metro and train services are running as per schedule in the district. The internet and cellular services are operational,” Singh said.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 11:53 IST