- Efforts continue to vacate Dera Sacha Sauda followers from the sect’s headquarters at Sirsa
- Security arrangements tightened at Sirsa ahead of the rape-case verdict against Dera chief.
- Special CBI court to announce quantum of sentence against Ram Rahim Singh today
Sirsa, Haryana, August 28, 2017 : For the states that witnessed transport and property getting burnt as the mob turned violent and attacked security forces and media persons alike, an uneasy calm prevails in parts of Haryana and Punjab, and especially Sirsa. With the district administration providing buses for safe transportation, the exodus of the Dera Sacha Sauda followers from the sect’s headquarters at Sirsa, which began on Saturday (Aug 26), continues even after two days.
Haryana roadways deployed over 50 buses on Sunday for transporting the followers a day before the verdict in the rape case against the Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh was to be announced.
According to a report by The Tribune, as many as 3,000 followers have already left the Dera in the provided buses which included women and children in large numbers. Several others are also believed to have left in their private vehicles.
The Dera Sacha Saudha headquarters at Sira, Haryana comprise a township on its own. Spread over 1,000 acres, the campus has schools, sports village, cinema hall and hospital inside it.
The process of the sanitization of the Dera headquarters has continued for over two days now, as the Army and the paramilitary forces have appealed to the followers to vacate the premises. However, according to the authorities, over 5,000 followers are still believed to be inside the Sirsa headquarters, as per a report by PTI.
The deployed police forces and the Dera administration have been making regular announcements requesting the followers of the convicted religious-guru to vacate the premises.
The authorities also attempted to vacate the Shah Satnam Schools that are situated on campus. According to a report by PTI, over 100 students have been taken off the premises by their parents following government orders.
Additionally, the authorities also attempted to vacate the two shelters currently operational at the Dera Sacha Saudha campus called Shahi Betiya Basera and Shahi Asra Basera. However, as per reports, the children refused to leave the Dera and rebuked the forces’ requests.
To avoid any discrepancy, the police are maintaining detailed records of the names, phone numbers and addresses of the followers who are cooperating and vacating the premises, or are willing to leave.
Sirsa Under Vigilance Ahead of the Case Verdict
Haryana DGP B S Sandhu at a press conference on Sunday asserted that peace in now prevailing in Haryana and efforts are underway to keep all possible security arrangements in place.
“As many as 552 persons have been arrested and further investigation is underway” he said on Sunday, adding that action will be taken against every body found guilty.
It was also revealed that out of the 36 people killed during the violence, as many as 6 out of them were killed in Sirsa alone, with the tally of people injured in Sirsa reaching up to 60. The officer further revealed that 19 people have been identified by the police that include seven from Punjab. Additionally, they have also detained over a dozen Dera followers associated with the violence following the conviction of the Dera chief on Friday.
While there haven’t been reports of any fresh violence in Haryana since yesterday, district authorities are hopeful that no inconvenient action should take place after the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment in the rape case against the Dera chief Ram Rahim Singh.
However, security arrangements have been beefed up to curb any possible outbreak. Authorities have established a barricade covering 6 kms between the Dera and the town, and no person is allowed to move beyond that point.
Previously on Sunday, the district administration had relaxed the curfew in and around the Dera headquarters in Sirsa, allowing people to move around for shopping and other necessary chores. However, it was asserted that no such relaxation would be given till Tuesday morning.
The special CBI court is to pronounce the quantum of the sentence today in the rape case against Dera Sacha Saudha chief Ram Rahim Singh. For the same, strict security arrangements have been put in place in and around Sunaria jail in Rohtak.
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