Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh: From 'baba of the bling' to rape convict

Haryana, Punjab calm; forces still at the ready

Human wall: Security personnel forms a barrier near the Sunariya jail in Rohtak on Monday.

Human wall: Security personnel forms a barrier near the Sunariya jail in Rohtak on Monday.

The situation in most parts of Haryana and neighbouring Punjab remained largely calm on Monday after a special CBI special court sentenced the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh to 20 years in jail , even as security forces were on vigil in sensitive areas to maintain law and order.

Soon after the court pronounced the sentence against the Dera chief, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar convened an emergency meeting of senior officials to take stock of the situation.

Mr. Khattar told presspersons after the meeting that while the situation across the State was calm, all arrangements were in place to deal with any backlash.

 

“Law and order will not be allowed to be affected. Effective arrangements have been made to maintain peace in the State following the decision of the court. Strict action will be taken against any person who violates the law,” he said.

Mr. Khattar said the Dera chief would have to spend 20 years in jail.

“The court has sentenced him to imprisonment of 10 years each in two rape cases, and imposed a fine of ₹15 lakh in each case. The sentences will run consecutively, and not concurrently resulting in imprisonment of 20 years and a fine of ₹30 lakh,” he said, asserting that no person is above the law and everyone should respect the verdict.

Appeal for peace

Mr. Khattar also appealed to the people, especially Dera followers, to respect the sentence and help maintain peace in the State.

 

Haryana witnessed violent clashes last Friday, after the sect supporters went on the rampage in Panchkula and Sirsa leaving 38 people dead and over 260 injured. The violence was triggered after the Dera chief was convicted by a CBI court in Panchkula.

Meanwhile, the district administration in Sirsa, has decided to initiate strict action against those persons who incited the people to disturb peace in the city on Monday.

Gurugram Municipal Corporation Commissioner V. Umashankar, who has been deputed in Sirsa on special duty, said a decision on lifting curfew in Sirsa would be taken after the meeting of the Joint Action Committee of all security forces.

“The district administration and security forces are making concerted efforts to improve the law and order situation on a priority basis, after which action would be initiated against the anti-social elements,” he said.

According to him, no incident of looting was reported from Sirsa city during the violence and the effective action taken by the police and administration led to minimal loss of life and property.

“More than 15,000 persons had entered the city with the intention of disturbing peace and instigating riots. However, the security forces prevented a situation which could have been much worse,” he said.

Responding to a question about arson at the local milk plant, he said the incident occurred as the unit was situated between two Dera sites. “Vehicles were also damaged,” he added.


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Printable version | May 14, 2022 9:05:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/haryana-punjab-calm-forces-still-at-the-ready/article62040995.ece