National

Dera chief followers throng Panchkula

Administrative officials and police personnel at a flag march in Bathinda on Wednesday. Haryana and Punjab are maintaining high alert ahead of the court judgment in a sexual exploitation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, scheduled to be announced on August 25.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Thousands of ‘Premis’ (followers) of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda are thronging Panchkula in support of their chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in case the court verdict goes against him in the rape case.

The followers have been gathering at Naam Charcha Ghar (the congregation centre) in Sector 23 for a few days now, ahead of the verdict to be delivered by the CBI special court on August 25.

The number of followers is swelling, in a sign that the security forces may face a tough challenge in case of an adverse ruling.

While the police have barricaded many points in Panchkula to restrict entry of vehicles, a large number of followers were seen walking in groups to reach their destination. Several of them could be seen sitting and lying on the roadside around the Zirakpur-Kalka highway besides the city roads as well. Many followers have erected tents while some have taken shelter in parks.

Sitting along the road, leading to the congregation centre, B.C. Joshi, who hails from Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand strongly dismisses the allegations levelled against the Dera chief.

He is facing charges of raping a former female follower inside the Dera campus, near Sirsa.

“He (Dera chief) is a noble man...if verdict comes against him I’ll sit on dharna here. I have told my family I may not return,” Mr. Joshi told The Hindu.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Mar 1, 2021 1:24:30 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dera-chief-followers-throng-panchkula/article19547021.ece

Next Story