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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Panchkula violence | Rioters tried to set Sector-5 police station afire: FIR

FIRs, mostly on complaint of cops, talk about use of force on duty magistrates’ order after dera followers went on rampage.

punjab Updated: Aug 30, 2017 11:10 IST
Vivek Gupta
Vivek Gupta
Hindustan Times, Panchkula
Dera Sacha Sauda followers rioting in Sector 4, Panchkula, after their dera chief Ram Rahim was convicted of rape.
Dera Sacha Sauda followers rioting in Sector 4, Panchkula, after their dera chief Ram Rahim was convicted of rape.(HT File)

Around 500 Dera Sacha Sauda followers, who were part of the mob that went on a rampage in Panchkula after their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in a rape case on Friday, allegedly attacked and tried to set the Sector-5 police station on fire.

Of the 55 first information reports (FIRs) registered after the violence, the very first puts light on arson at the Sector-5 police station. Incidentally, the maximum number of FIRs — 40 — have also been registered here.

The FIR states that around 500 rioters threw petrol bombs and stones inside the station. As the situation turned volatile, the security forces present inside opened fire on the orders of the duty magistrate Martina Mahajan, who too was present there. It helped defuse the tension.

As many as 37 dera followers are named as accused of rioting and attempt to murder in this FIR, registered on the complaint of station house officer Karambir Singh. 

All FIRs, mostly on the complaint of cops, tell the same story — use of force by the security personnel on the orders of duty magistrates after the dera followers attacked them.

‘Mob opened fire at cops in Sector 3’

An FIR, on the complaint of Sector-21 police post in-charge assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Jaswinder Singh, claims the dera followers opened fire at security personnel at Sector 3, forcing the latter to retaliate on the duty magistrate’s order.

The ASI has stated that he was present near Hotel Holiday Inn when a huge gathering of around 25,000 turned violent following Ram Rahim’s conviction. Many of them, he stated, had petrol bombs, illegal weapons, sticks and stones in their hand and were repeatedly threatening to set the city on fire.

Police said Sector 3 was the worst in terms of causalities. Out of 33 deaths reported in Panchkula, 17 were in this area. Other deaths were reported from Hafed Chowk, separating Sectors 2 and 5, and Sector 4.

An FIR registered on the complaint of deputy commandant Shyam Kishore Singh from Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) stated that the complainant was posted near the district courts complex on the road dividing Sectors 2 and 5 when a mob started attacking government and private property. 

Many from the mob allegedly snatched the force’s rifles. As many as 163 rounds of MM INSAS rifle and 36 rounds of MM Carbine were fired at the crowd on the duty magistrate’s orders to bring the situation under control. 

Another FIR, on the complaint of Sector-2 police post in-charge Ishar Singh, talks about 10 cops being injured in attack by over 2,000 dera followers on the road dividing Sectors 2 and 4. Two government buses were also damaged.

First Published: Aug 30, 2017 11:08 IST

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