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Tight security at Sirsa-based HQ of Dera chief

The security has been tightened ahead of expected verdict on the bail plea of the sect chief in connection with three cases of murder and sexual harassment.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON OCT 25, 2007 12:38 PM IST

Security has been tightened at the Sirsa-based headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda ahead of expected verdict on Thursday on the bail plea of the sect chief in connection with three cases of murder and sexual harassment.

Security personnel have been deployed in strength to deal with any adverse situation, Sirsa's Deputy Commissioner V Umashankar told PTI over phone. "The situation is peaceful in Sirsa, though we are keeping a close watch," he said.

A special CBI court in Ambala is expected to deliver a verdict in the three cases later on Thursday. Security has also been beefed up there with additional forces deployed to keep a watch on the situation.

Special Judge RK Saini had on Wednesday reserved the order after the defence concluded arguments on the regular bail plea of sect chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in the three cases.

In contrast to last time when thousands of Dera followers had turned up after Singh made a personal appearance for the first time at the Ambala court on October four, only a few followers had come there on Thursday.

The Dera chief, who enjoys a Z-plus security cover, had appeared in the CBI court in connection with the murder cases of Dera manager Ranjit Singh, Sirsa journalist Ram Chander Chatterpati and alleged sexual harassment of a woman disciple. The CBI had filed three chargesheets against the Baba on July 31.

The sect chief had on October four moved the application seeking regular bail. Subsequently, the CBI court had extended the period of his interim bail till October 15 and adjourned the hearing. The Court had adjourned the hearing on the bail plea till October 20 and on that day it further adjourned the hearing for October 22 as the arguments of the defence could not be completed.

The CBI counsels had not only opposed the regular bail plea, but also sought cancellation of the interim bail of the Baba.

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