Verdict in Dera chief’s case: Punjab, Haryana govts seek central forces
The case is coming up for hearing in the CBI special court at Panchkula in Haryana on Thursday.punjab Updated: Aug 17, 2017 12:33 IST
Punjab and Haryana have requested the Centre for security forces ahead of a special CBI court’s verdict in the rape trial against Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
The case is coming up for hearing in the CBI special court at Panchkula in Haryana on Thursday. “It is in the final stages now,” a lawyer associated with the case said. Top officials from Punjab and Haryana, which have been put on alert, had briefed Union Home secretary Rajiv Gauba on Wednesday about the possible ramifications of an adverse verdict by a CBI court in the case.
Director general of police (DGP), law and order, Hardeep Dhillon said that a meeting of top officials will be held today to review the law and order situation. “We have sought additional forces from the centre, depending on their availability,” he said, refusing to specify the number of companies asked by the state government.
Similarly, authorities in Haryana, where the sect chief’s dera is located, have also sought paramilitary forces. “The judgment in the case can be announced anytime now. We want to be prepared for any eventuality,” a top official said, requesting anonymity. 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 dera management has been refuting all charges against Singh.
Punjab and Haryana chief secretaries and director generals of police (DGPs) had 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.
First Published: Aug 17, 2017 12:30 IST