Law enforcement agencies in Punjab & Haryana are on high alert as thousands of devotees of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda, have formed a conglomeration in Sirsa. Thousands of Dera Sacha Sauda followers have also flocked to Panchkula. All of them await the impending verdict on the 1999 rape case.
In order to keep a keen eye on the followers, cops are also planning on deploying drone cameras for aerial surveillance in some areas. They are also equipped with ammunition for immediate use, such as pellet guns, should they find the situation going out of control. News reports also suggest that the cricket stadium in Chandigarh’s Sector 16 has been designated as a temporary jail to detain the miscreants in case riots or violent protests break out.
Law enforcement agencies have taken such precautionary measures to ensure there is no repetition of the 2014 incident when Rohtak’s Satlok Ashram’s Baba Rampal refused to appear in the court of law after a non-bailable warrant was issued against him. The police had to resort to extreme measures in order to tackle his followers, who had taken up arms to defend their guru.
Considering the fact that the flamboyant Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s followers are no less fierce than Baba Rampal’s, the Haryana and Punjab police forces are already preparing for a prospective showdown.
On the other hand, while most of the devotees term an adverse verdict as something absolutely “out of question”, the raucous women devotees of the self-styled guru have already warned the establishment of facing dire consequences – by saying “somebody will pay” – if their leader is taken into custody.
One of the female devotees was quoted as saying:
“He is God for us. We cannot do anything without him. A God does not do harm to anyone.”
According to the Haryana Home Department’s Additional Chief Secretary, Ram Niwas, Section 144 has been imposed across Haryana as a preemptive measure. Section 144 has also been imposed across Punjab. The followers at the Naam Charcha Ghar of Dera group have been barred from carrying any kind of stick or lathis .
Special security has been beefed up outside the Panchkula CBI court, where the Dera chief has been ordered to appear on August 25. Truckloads of followers have already started arriving at the premises of the court since the last two days.
The godman was accused of raping a female devotee in 1999. It was after three years in 2002 that the CBI took up the investigation. The special CBI court of Panchkula concluded hearings on August 17 this year. A court judgment is likely on Friday, August 25.