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Ram Rahim rape case: Eye on borders, Delhi gears up to avoid repeat of violence

The measures are aimed at preventing a re-run of violence that erupted in Delhi on Friday after a special CBI court at Panchkula held the self-styled godman guilty of raping two of his female followers in 2002.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2017 07:54 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Ram Rahim verdict,Rape case,Ram Rahim
Personnel of para-military forces guard the Rohtak-Delhi bypass on Sunday. (PTI)

Deployment of undercover policemen to guard sensitive locations across the national capital is among a slew of measures devised at a high-level police meeting to protect the city on Monday, the day quantum of sentence for convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh will be pronounced.

The sentencing will be done in a special court set up inside a district jail in Haryana’s Sunaira, some 70km from Delhi. The 50-year-old flamboyant godman is lodged at the jail.

The measures are aimed at preventing a re-run of violence that erupted in Delhi on Friday after a special CBI court at Panchkula held the self-styled godman guilty of raping two of his female followers in 2002.

Miscreants set on fire two train coaches at Anand Vihar railway terminal, torched a few buses in parts of west and east Delhi and pelted stones at least in 12 locations across the city after Singh’s conviction.

His supporters, known as “premis” also ran riot in several other northern states to protest the verdict, leaving 38 people dead and 250 injured.

Over 80 locations — such as bus and railway stations —were identified as “sensitive” across the city in the meeting of the senior Delhi police officers.

These locations were identified based on information provided during interrogations by 10 persons, who were arrested from various parts of the city in connection with the violence.

Section 144 is already imposed at the 11 districts of Delhi.

Borders across the city, especially those connecting Haryana, have been fortified. Police had on Saturday received intelligence inputs that Singh’s followers could enter Delhi in Haryana roadways buses to foment trouble after the neighbouring state was “secured” with army deployment.

A police source said over 110 entry points to Delhi from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh would be under surveillance. Delhi police spokesperson Madhur Verma said police also identified deras and ashrams of the quasi-religious sect across the city and posted ‘enough’ police personnel there to prevent violence.

“Let me reiterate that police will be tough on any miscreant who creates trouble tomorrow (Monday). We will not allow unruly behaviour by anyone,” he said.

Verma also clarified that restrictions under 144 prohibiting gathering of more than four people were only on miscreants who might try to assemble to cause mischief. There will be no problems for general citizens, he added. Police stations in west, east and north east parts of the city have been instructed to ensure that there is no gathering at any ground or parks.

Paramilitary forces, requisitioned from the centre, would assist the Delhi police in maintaining the law and order.

Delhi police, meanwhile, denied sending any message about traffic restrictions or issuing advisory to citizens to stay indoors and urged people not to pay heed to any such rumours.

There were rumours about colleges closing on Monday.

First Published: Aug 27, 2017 23:55 IST