Indian cities in lockdown as ´guru in bling´ awaits rape verdict

Indian cities in lockdown as ´guru in bling´ awaits rape verdict

Kerry Wise
August 25, 2017

The Home Department of Chandigarh UT today made a decision to declare the cricket stadium in sector 16 as temporary jail on August 25, the day the special CBI court is to pronounce the verdict in the case against Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

2014: The Punjab and Haryana high court directed the CBI to probe allegations that Singh forcibly castrated almost 400 followers.

The special CBI court in Panchkula will pronounce the judgement in the rape case against Rahim on 25 August and the chief of the Sirsa-headquartered sect has been asked to appear in person. The police fears that if the court verdict goes against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, then his "devotees can use petrol and weapons to harm/destroy the government or public properties".

The followers of dera chief have threatened violent reaction if dera chief was convicted in the rape case. Already large number of dera followers have started arriving in Panchkula.

Ram Raheem, has also confirmed that he will be present at the court for the hearing.

Director General of Police Haryana BS Sandhu said, "We have requested the army for deployment to maintain law and order, after which it is sending 22 columns to be deployed in the state, of these 20 will be deployed at Panchkula and two at Sisra by tonight". A stadium at Chandigarh had been converted into a jail to accommodate his followers if they turn violent.

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Nishu Rani, 20, who traveled to Panchkula with 20 family members from the neighboring state of Punjab, said they came to support the spiritual leader.

The chief minister briefed the home minister about the steps taken by the state government to maintain peace in the state, and Singh assured Khattar of help, the official said.

Both Haryana and Punjab have been put on high alert ahead of the court order.

The court asked the Centre to immediately provide forces, including paramilitary force.

Niwas apprised that 53 companies of paramilitary forces from the CG and 50000 personnel of Haryana Police have been deployed.

Section 144 of (CrPC) has been imposed in all districts of Haryana. The CBI had probed the case but filed a closure report in which Singh was acquitted in December 2010. A court judgment is likely on Friday, August 25. "We all know how the state has been protecting him, providing him Z-plus security cover despite his being facing the criminal cases of heinous nature", they said.