Ram Rahim rape case verdict today: Dera chief asks followers to go home
Dera Sach Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who will be appearing in court on Friday for hearing in a rape case against him, sent out a video message late on Thursday night asking his followers to leave Panchkula and return to their homes. In the video, he also said that they should respect the law and maintain peace in the city. But the whether his message has reached his followers is uncertain since mobile Internet has been shut down in both Haryana and Punjab.
Massive security arrangements have been put in place in Chandigarh and Panchkula as largescale violence feared by followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim who will be appearing in court on Friday for hearing in a rape case against him.
Earlier on Thursday, thousands of Dera followers have gathered in both the districts in an attempt to show solidarity with the sect chief, who is set to appear before a CBI court in Panchkula which is expected to pronounce verdict in a 15-year old sexual exploitation case.
Meanwhile, 20 columns of Army has also been deployed in Panchkula late on Thursday night along with the paramilitary and state police forces to handle any exigency. A curfew was imposed in the highly sensitive Sirsa town, which houses the sect's headquarters, and three neighbouring villages.
Dera sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is likely to appear in a special CBI court in Panchkula at 2.30 pm on Friday.
About the rape case:
A case was registered against Dera chief Singh in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about alleged sexual exploitation of two female followers.
Singh was accused of raping them inside the Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana. A charge sheet in the case was filed by the CBI in 2007. However, the Dera chief has denied these charges.