Verdict on Dera chief Ram Rahim likely, Punjab-Haryana put on alert
The sect chief has been accused by a former female follower of raping her more than once inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town. The sect management has been refuting all charges against Singh.india Updated: Aug 16, 2017 23:10 IST
The authorities in Punjab and Haryana on Wednesday asked the police in both states to be on alert ahead of a special CBI court’s verdict in the rape trial against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Top civil and police officials from both states briefed Union home secretary Rajiv Gauba about the possible ramifications of an adverse verdict by a CBI court in the case. The sect chief has been accused by a former female follower of raping her more than once inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town. The sect management has been refuting all charges against Singh.
Lawyers associated with the case said that matter was heard by CBI special court, Haryana in Panchkula on Wednesday and has been adjourned for further hearing on Thursday. It is in final stages now, a lawyer associated with the case said but whether matter will be reserved for judgment or not on Thursday, they added, could not be said at this stage.
Meanwhile, Punjab and Haryana chief secretaries, director general of police (DGP) of both the states attended the meeting with the Union home secretary which took place in Delhi. “We have asked the Central government to provide additional manpower to the states since a law and order situation can emerge if the court hands out an adverse verdict against the Dera head who enjoys massive following in Punjab and Haryana,’’ said an official. The information shared with the Central government was based on intelligence inputs from the two states as well as past experiences in such matters.
In 2014, hundreds of followers of Sant Rampal, a self styled godman formed a human wall and clashed with the police to prevent his arrest at his ashram in Hisar. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had sought Rampal’s custody in a contempt matter. Though he was eventually arrested, Rampal’s followers had attacked the police with petrol bombs and acid pouches in a bid to prevent the cops from arresting him and created a major law and order problem in the state.
(With inputs from agencies)
First Published: Aug 16, 2017 23:10 IST