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Dera chief in dock: HC slams Haryana for crowd buildup in Panchkula, asks Centre for security

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), asking it to monitor security in Panchkula

india Updated: Aug 24, 2017 14:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
While adjourning the matter post lunch, the court also asked Dera Sacha Sauda to apprise it about the steps being taken to defuse the situation.
While adjourning the matter post lunch, the court also asked Dera Sacha Sauda to apprise it about the steps being taken to defuse the situation.(Photo from Ram Rahim’s Facebook account)
         

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday slammed the Haryana government for allowing a massive buildup of Dera Sacha Sacha followers in Panchkula, and directed the Central government to provide adequate security ahead of the verdict in a rape case against dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The high court division bench of acting chief justice SS Saron and justice Avneesh Jhingan also warned Haryana director general of police (DGP) of action if the police failed to provide proper security. It observed that the court did not want a repeat of the lawlessness witnessed during the February 2016 Jat quota agitation in which nearly 30 persons had lost their lives and property worth crores was damaged in Haryana.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), asking it to monitor security in Panchkula. The petitioner lawyer, RS Dhull, a resident of Panchkula, had submitted that despite prohibitory orders in place, more than 1.5 lakh dera followers have already entered Panchkula as on August 23. The court called for top law officers of Punjab, Haryana and Central government and asked them to apprise court post lunch about the steps taken to ensure law and order.

“The Union of India shall make its own assessment in this regard. The State of Haryana shall also provide its own assessment and requirement from time to time,” the court directed. When CBI pointed out that the security of witnesses, the Investigating Officer of the CBI and the public prosecutor in the trial needed to be strengthened, the court asked Haryana to take steps.

While adjourning the matter post lunch, the court also asked Dera Sacha Sauda to apprise it about the steps being taken to defuse the situation.

First Published: Aug 24, 2017 14:20 IST