Photos| Gurmeet Ram Rahim rape trial: High alert as ‘premis’ swarm Panchkula

Over one lakh followers have gathered at Panchkula ahead of the August 25 rape trial hearing against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Security has been beefed up in anticipation of breaches in law and order with curfew like situations prevailing.

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST 12 Photos
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Panchkula police are on alert as Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda followers throng the sect’s Sector-23 based Naam Charcha Ghar in Haryana, days ahead of the verdict in a rape case against its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25. Around 100,000 followers are estimated to have gathered here with numbers swelling every hour. (HT Photo)

Panchkula police are on alert as Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda followers throng the sect’s Sector-23 based Naam Charcha Ghar in Haryana, days ahead of the verdict in a rape case against its chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on August 25. Around 100,000 followers are estimated to have gathered here with numbers swelling every hour. (HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Singh had been accused of raping two women and the case was registered in 2002. The controversy deepened after a man was allegedly shot dead by Dera followers in July the same year as he was suspected to be behind an anonymous letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee which levelled the sexual assault charges on Singh. (PTI)

Singh had been accused of raping two women and the case was registered in 2002. The controversy deepened after a man was allegedly shot dead by Dera followers in July the same year as he was suspected to be behind an anonymous letter to the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee which levelled the sexual assault charges on Singh. (PTI)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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As a precautionary measure, educational institutes will remain shut in Panchkula district and its neighbouring city Chandigarh until Friday. The Haryana government said except for offices of essential services, August 24 and 25 would be observed as gazetted holidays in government offices, boards, corporations, and banks in Sectors 4, 5 and 6 of Panchkula only. Teaching work in all the universities and colleges in the state will remain suspended on 25 August, a spokesperson of Haryana’s Higher Education department said. (Anil Dayal / HT Photo)

As a precautionary measure, educational institutes will remain shut in Panchkula district and its neighbouring city Chandigarh until Friday. The Haryana government said except for offices of essential services, August 24 and 25 would be observed as gazetted holidays in government offices, boards, corporations, and banks in Sectors 4, 5 and 6 of Panchkula only. Teaching work in all the universities and colleges in the state will remain suspended on 25 August, a spokesperson of Haryana’s Higher Education department said. (Anil Dayal / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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A complete ban has also been issued on carrying firearms, with orders to shut down private gun houses selling arms and ammunition to license holders, a spokesperson said after a meeting convened by chief minister Amarinder Singh to review the state’s security arrangements. The chief minister also ordered withdrawal of 1,000 police personnel from VVIP security for deployment on field duty to strengthen the security blanket in the state. (Anil Dayal / HT Photo)

A complete ban has also been issued on carrying firearms, with orders to shut down private gun houses selling arms and ammunition to license holders, a spokesperson said after a meeting convened by chief minister Amarinder Singh to review the state’s security arrangements. The chief minister also ordered withdrawal of 1,000 police personnel from VVIP security for deployment on field duty to strengthen the security blanket in the state. (Anil Dayal / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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The Chandigarh administration has decided to convert the Sector-16 cricket stadium into a temporary jail for a day. A senior UT officer said orders have been issued to police to convert the stadium into jail on August 25, where at least 10,000 people can be kept if laws aren’t upheld. Police stopped several vehicles at the Zirakpur main chowk, but could not stop followers walking towards the city. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

The Chandigarh administration has decided to convert the Sector-16 cricket stadium into a temporary jail for a day. A senior UT officer said orders have been issued to police to convert the stadium into jail on August 25, where at least 10,000 people can be kept if laws aren’t upheld. Police stopped several vehicles at the Zirakpur main chowk, but could not stop followers walking towards the city. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Sanitation is going to be a problem as there is no lavatory facility, although 24-hour langar has started. Premis, as they call themselves, have even set up stalls for medicines and other basic services. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

Sanitation is going to be a problem as there is no lavatory facility, although 24-hour langar has started. Premis, as they call themselves, have even set up stalls for medicines and other basic services. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Punjab police have also obtained information that the Dera Sacha Sauda’s ‘naam charcha ghar’ (congregation centre) have started storing petrol, diesel and weapons. Sources said 5,000 police personnel, including 700 from paramilitary forces, will stand guard. Special checks are being carried out at the bus stand and railway station and verification of people staying at guest houses and hotels is being done. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

Punjab police have also obtained information that the Dera Sacha Sauda’s ‘naam charcha ghar’ (congregation centre) have started storing petrol, diesel and weapons. Sources said 5,000 police personnel, including 700 from paramilitary forces, will stand guard. Special checks are being carried out at the bus stand and railway station and verification of people staying at guest houses and hotels is being done. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Dera Sacha Sauda followers preparing food for other followers at Nam charcha ghar. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

Dera Sacha Sauda followers preparing food for other followers at Nam charcha ghar. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Panchkula’s Sector 23 has turned into mini Malwa of Punjab with people gathering there from Batinda, Mansa, Moga, Abohar, Fazilika, Sangrur and Patiala, where the sect has a strong following. As the Dera’s Naam Charcha Ghar has limited space, many are sitting on the roadside around it. Others have pitched tents or are taking shelter in parks, raising tension in the neighbourhood which has around 50 houses. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

Panchkula’s Sector 23 has turned into mini Malwa of Punjab with people gathering there from Batinda, Mansa, Moga, Abohar, Fazilika, Sangrur and Patiala, where the sect has a strong following. As the Dera’s Naam Charcha Ghar has limited space, many are sitting on the roadside around it. Others have pitched tents or are taking shelter in parks, raising tension in the neighbourhood which has around 50 houses. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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The Panchkula police have virtually sealed Sector 1, with no person, including advocates, allowed to take their vehicles to the district courts complex. All roads leading to the complex, including the one separating Sectors 1 and 2 have already been sealed. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

The Panchkula police have virtually sealed Sector 1, with no person, including advocates, allowed to take their vehicles to the district courts complex. All roads leading to the complex, including the one separating Sectors 1 and 2 have already been sealed. (Ravi Kumar / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) took out a flag march At Panchkula ahead of last hearing on Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Punjab director general of police Suresh Arora visited Mohali to review the security arrangements. During the meeting that lasted for an hour, Arora asked all officers to be on their toes and carry out rigorous checking of buses, cars and hotels ahead of the verdict. Two companies of paramilitary forces with 80 personnel each have arrived in Mohali. (Sant Arora / HT Photo)

CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) took out a flag march At Panchkula ahead of last hearing on Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Punjab director general of police Suresh Arora visited Mohali to review the security arrangements. During the meeting that lasted for an hour, Arora asked all officers to be on their toes and carry out rigorous checking of buses, cars and hotels ahead of the verdict. Two companies of paramilitary forces with 80 personnel each have arrived in Mohali. (Sant Arora / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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Large numbers of Dera Sacha Sauda followers gathered near sector 23’s Naam charcha Ghar on Tuesday. Sanitation is going to be a problem as there is no lavatory facility, although 24-hour langar has started. (Sant Arora / HT Photo)

Large numbers of Dera Sacha Sauda followers gathered near sector 23’s Naam charcha Ghar on Tuesday. Sanitation is going to be a problem as there is no lavatory facility, although 24-hour langar has started. (Sant Arora / HT Photo)

UPDATED ON AUG 24, 2017 02:18 PM IST
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