Highlights| Day after Ram Rahim conviction: Dera will pay for damages, says Punjab CM Amarinder Singh

Punjab CM lauds security forces and says his government will not allow violence of any form from any sect in Punjab.
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh(ANI)
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh(ANI)
Updated on Aug 26, 2017 07:12 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondent

Army and paramilitary forces moved in to get the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters near Sirsa town in Haryana vacated on Saturday, a day after the sect chief was convicted of rape, sparking large-scale violence by his supporters. There are still thousands of Dera followers inside the sect headquarters, around 260 km from here, sources said. Security forces continue to remain on high alert as an uneasy calm prevailed in Panchkula, the epicentre of Friday’s violence triggered by the rape conviction of self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Here are the highlights of the day after dera chief’s conviction:

5: 30pm: Haryana government law officer Gurdas Singh Salwara, who was caught holding luggage of Dera Sacha Sauda head, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh outside Panchkula trial court sacked by government. He was deputy advocate general with state’s advocate general office.

4: 48 pm: “Looking after my own state. The situation is peaceful here, but will take no chances,” says Amarinder Singh.

4: 45 pm: Amarinder Singh says: “Peace in Punjab as long as I am there.”

4: 40 pm: Dera will pay for damages, says CM Amarinder Singh and adds were on top of the situation.

4: 37 pm: Will not allow violence of any form from any sect in Punjab: CM Amarinder Singh

4: 24 pm: Punjab CM lauds security forces. “Happy with the forces”, says the CM.

4: 23 pm: The government did its job: Amarinder Singh

4: 22 pm: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh begins press conference, says situation under control.

4: 21 pm: Rajnath reviews security, told Haryana situation under control. Emerging from the high-level meeting, Union home secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the director general of Haryana Police had assured the central government that the situation was under control now.

4: 20 pm: 90 people admitted on Friday night, says CMO, Panchkula civil hospital

4: 17 pm: Civil hospital doctors say death toll in Sirsa rises to 4 with 2 more deaths reported on Saturday.

4: 13 pm: Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh chaired a high-level meeting over law and order situation in the state

3:05 pm: The CPI has sought the resignation of Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar, saying the BJP government in the state has “horribly failed” to deal with the violence. CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy also demanded tough measures by the Centre to bring the situation back to normal in Punjab and Haryana.

3: 52 pm: The Press Club of India has condemned the violence against media persons in Panchkula. In a statement, the PCI demanded strict action against the miscreants, saying the state government should take urgent steps for the safety and security of journalists.It also demanded that the television news networks be compensated for the losses suffered by them.

3:51 pm: Punjab Police and army conducted flag march in Moga

3: 40 pm: Punjab chief minister to address a press conference at 4.30 PM in Chandigarh.

3: 35 pm: Police search dera premises in Mansa, appeal for peace. “Section 144 is already imposed in the area. We have not ordered the dera followers to vacate the premises. Most of the followers have already left the premises,” said ADGP. Mansa SSP confirmed that no weapons or any objectionable item was found during the search operation in the dera premises.

Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda waiting for transport to head to their respective villages in Bathinda on Saturday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)
Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda waiting for transport to head to their respective villages in Bathinda on Saturday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT)

3:29 pm: ‘Found axes, batons, petrol bombs at a dera in Kaithal’

3: 04 pm: Curfew relaxed in Patiala from 3 PM to 6 PM, except Rajpura. Relaxation on Sunday from 8 AM to 10 AM.

2: 46 pm: After moving the army to surround the headquarters of the Dera Sacha Sauda near Sirsa town in Haryana, the army and the Haryana government clarified on Saturday afternoon that the forces had still not entered the sect’s headquarters complex. Major General Rajpal Punia told media in Sirsa that the army has no immediate plan to enter the Dera campus.

“There is some confusion that the Army is going inside the Dera campus. At the moment there is no such plan,” General Punia said.

2: 38 pm: Former Haryana chief minister BS Hooda: Haryana govt must resign on moral grounds

2:29 pm: The BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Saturday called on to initiate a probe to identify the miscreants, who vandalised the property after conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in rape case and said law needs to be enforced to keep a check on all the religious institution of the country. “The violence is unexplainable. If they are devotees of a truly religious person, why should this violence take place? Either these are violent acts, which should be banned or there is an infiltration. Who are behind the violence, it must be found out,” Swamy told ANI.

2:26 pm: The moment Ram Rahim was arrested, his Z-plus security stood automatically withdrawn: Haryana chief secretary Depinder Singh to ANI

2:22 pm: All 28 killed in Panchkula were outsiders. No city resident killed or injured in violence: Haryana DGP BS Sandhu

2:09 pm: The Delhi Transport Corporation has cancelled its services to Haryana and Uttar Pradesh after multiple incidents of arson and violence following the conviction of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

2:07 pm: Two cases of sedition registered against dera supporters who went on a and damaged public property in Panchkula, Haryana.

1: 57pm: People who died were dera supporters. 36 dera ashrams have been sealed. The dera at Sirsa is being vacated: Haryana BJP in-charge Anil Jain

1: 53 pm: Sources in the government said two dera premises in Kurukshetra district sealed by the local authorities after getting these vacated of Dera followers.

1:52 pm: The Congress party on Saturday demanded President’s rule in Haryana and the sacking of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his government’s “failure” to stop the widespread violence. Senior Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi in a press conference said the death toll figures reported “seems to be false, and it’s higher”. He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants to “save his friend Khattar”. “You are seeing a naked dance of absolute violence, riots on the street,” Singhvi said on the violence that took place in Haryana on Friday.

1:17 pm: The Haryana government on Saturday ordered a search of all congregation centres belonging to the Dera Sacha Sauda in the state, a senior official said.“We have ordered a search of all ‘naam charcha ghars’ (congregation centres) of the Dera Sacha Sauda wherever located in Haryana,” state additional chief secretary (home) Ram Niwas told PTI.

1:07 pm: Punjab and Haryana high court to Khattar-led Haryana government: “It was a political surrender to lure your vote bank”

12:55 pm: Curfew reimposed in Faridkot till 5 pm.

12:26 pm: Army and paramilitary forces move in to get the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters vacated near Sirsa town in Haryana.

12:23 pm: Dera Sirsa chief in CBI court Panchkula on August 25. (Video courtesy: babushahi.com)

12:22 pm: Kurukshetra police seal nine congregation centres of the Dera Sacha Sauda in the district, evicting the followers, and seize over 2,500 lathis and other sharp-edged weapons during a search operation.

12:18 pm: The Canada government has issued a safety advisory for its citizens in India following the conviction of Ram Rahim, saying tensions remain high in Punjab and Haryana, and various other areas.

12:17 pm: High-level meeting at Union home minister’s residence begins.

12:06 pm: Congress leader Shashi Tharoor has slammed Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar for his government’s failure to stop the widespread violence that broke out after the conviction of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

12:01 pm: The deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in Panchkula was suspended by the Haryana government. IPS officer Ashok Kumar, DCP Panchkula, has been put under suspension with immediate effect, an official order said.

11:44 am: Authorities in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday relaxed curfew in some towns to enable the residents to buy essential and eatable items. In Punjab, curfew was relaxed in Patiala, Bathinda and Ferozepur towns for four hours, while in Haryana it was relaxed in Kaithal town.

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