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Haryana and Punjab CMs took preventive steps, says Rajnath

Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh. File photo   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the Chief Ministers of Haryana and Punjab had told him that they took “adequate preventive measures” to contain the violence that erupted after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted of rape by a special CBI court on Friday.

A senior Home Ministry official said several alerts were sent to the Haryana government a month in advance.

They were asked to prepare for “unprecedented violence” that could erupt in case of an adverse verdict by the court. The Haryana government asked for Central forces only last week.

“More than 160 companies (approx 16,000) of Central forces were sent to Haryana. Since we got the intimation at short notice, we pulled out the forces from Kashmir and other areas and some personnel could only reach on Thursday night, hours before the verdict was announced. Haryana police should have called for forces in advance,” said the official.

Asked why the Haryana administration failed to prevent the supporters of the Dera chief gathering in large numbers leading to violence, Mr. Singh said, “[We] cannot blame the administration for this. How can you stop movement of people. It’s a democracy.”

Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said vehicles and property were burnt in and around Panchkula and the situation remained tense. Another Home Ministry official said they were exploring the option of a video conference for August 28, when the court would pronounce the quantum of sentence.

Self-immolation

“We will see if the sentence can be delivered through video conferencing as taking him to the Panchkula court by road could again trigger violence,” said the Home Ministry official. The official said there were one or two cases of self immolation also. “There is a history of Dera followers indulging in violence. We had sent several alerts to the Haryana government anticipating a verdict against the Dera chief as it was a meticulously investigated case,” said the official.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 9:00:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/panchkula-violence-adequate-precautions-taken-haryana-and-punjab-tell-centre/article19561658.ece

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