Ram Rahim verdict: Police warn of stern action against Dera followers
Chandigarh, Aug 25: Ahead of the verdict on Gurmeet Ram Rahim's rape case, the Chandigarh Police on Thursday night warned Dera Sacha Sauda followers of stern action if they try to enter the Union Territory.
An estimated 1.5 lakh Dera followers including men, women and children have gathered in Panchkula, where a CBI court is set to deliver its verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Friday.
The police maintained that it was on a high alert.
"No Dera follower will be allowed to enter Chandigarh," the police said in a statement.
"If they (Dera followers) try to enter Chandigarh, stern action will be taken as per the law," officials said.
Prohibitory order under section 144 has also been imposed in the city, they said, adding Chandigarh has already been declared sensitive as thousands of Dera followers have gathered in Panchkula. Security personnel are also making an appeal to Dera followers to evacuate Panchkula.
Despite Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim making an appeal to his followers to leave Panchkula, many of them have refused to relent and kept sitting along side roads and parks there. Since mobile internet and data services have been suspended in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh, Dera followers complained of being unable to see the video clip of the sect head making an appeal to return to their homes.
Security forces were faced with a tough situation as many Dera followers remained reluctant to move, saying they had come to the town on their own and would move only after having sect head's "darshan".
The sexual exploitation case was registered against Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two 'Sadhvis' (female followers) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. However, the sect head has denied these charges.