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Dera headquarters to be sanitised today


The search and sanitisation operations in Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa will begin on Friday.

Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh

The entire sanitisation process will be videographed and overseen by retired District and Sessions Judge, A K S Pawar, who was appointed as court commissioner by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday.

Pawar arrived in Sirsa on Thursday and met top officials to take stock of things before the process is undertaken.

The premises of the Dera, whose chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was jailed in rape case, is spread over 800 acres and houses educational institutions, markets, hospital, stadium, recreational areas and houses. "The sanitisation process will start on Friday.

The Dera premises is a very huge area and it will take time to complete the entire process," Haryana DGP B S Sandhu told PTI. The court commissioner reached Sirsa today.He held a briefing with officials there and took stock of things," the DGP said.

Sandhu also said that the sanitisation process will be out of bounds for the media. "We have formed a strategy and are hopeful that the sanitisation process will be conducted in a smooth manner. The Dera management too has expressed willingness to cooperate with the local administration and police during the investigation," he said.

While the sanitisation process will be overseen by the court commissioner, Haryana police personnel, paramilitary forces, duty magistrates, executive magistrates and revenue officials will also be part of the exercise, he said.

Curfew continued to be imposed in the areas near the Dera premises, but relaxations were being given during morning and evening hours, officials said. As many as 16 'nakas' (check points) have been set up near the Dera.

A total of 41 Companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in Sirsa district. Personnel from the anti-bomb disposal squad and 40 commandos of the 'Special Weapons and Tactics' (SWAT) team and dog squad will also be deployed. Among the central forces, CRPF, Sashastra Seema Bal, Rapid Action Force and BSF are deployed in Sirsa.

Aerial surveillance is also likely to be maintained when the sanitisation will take place, officials said. Bullet-proof vehicles are also likely to be used in the process, they said. "We will press all necessary equipment at our disposal to conduct the sanitisation process smoothly," the DGP said.

Inspector general of police, Hisar, Amitabh Dhillon, Sirsa SP Ashwin Shenvi and Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh checked all check-posts installed by the security forces.

The police and the Dera management have maintained that licensed weapons have been deposited by most Dera followers at Sirsa with the police authorities. Large-scale violence broke out in Panchkula after the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's conviction in rape cases, leaving 35 people dead.


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