Gurmeet Ram Rahim's rape case: High security in Punjab, Haryana ahead of verdict
With the CBI court in Panchkula set to deliver the verdict on Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's rape case on Friday, Punjab and Haryana have been put on high alert.
Thousands of policemen and paramilitary troops are in Punjab and Haryana amid apprehensions of unrest.
The Haryana government on Tuesday ordered imposition of Section 144 of the CrPC across the state till August 25 to avert any incident of violence.
News agency ANI reported that 97 CRPF companies, including Rapid Action Force, will be deployed in Panchkula during the hearing on Friday.
Meanwhile, government schools and colleges in Punjab and Haryana will ramain closed on August 24 and 25. A gazette notification has been sent to the educational instituetions in this regard.
According to reports, around 10 lakh dera followers are expected to gather in Panchkula, Chandigarh, Mohali. The court has asked self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim to be present during the verdict.
The case has been dragging on for around 15 years now, as the FIR was registered only in 2002. The incident dates back to 1999 when Ram Rahim had allegedly molested a female follower of the Dera.
The sexual exploitation case against Dera chief was registered in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Over 3,500 cops would reportedly be deployed in the city and on borders adjoining Punjab and Haryana. The leaves of all policemen have been cancelled.
A cricket stadium in Chandigarh's Sector 16 will be converted into a temporary jail to keep Dera followers who would arrive for the verdict on August 25.
Hisar, Fatehabad, Jind, Hansi, Kaithal and Kurukshetra have been identified as sensitive areas.