Ahead of the CBI court's verdict on August 25, the Haryana and Punjab police have beefed up security on speculations that the followers of Dera Sacha Sauda are planning a showdown if the verdict goes against their chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Haryana and Punjab have been put on high alert and prohibitory orders imposed ahead of the court verdict in the case involving Ram Rahim with authorities not ruling out taking Army's help to maintain law and order.
The rape case against Ram Rahim dates back to 2002, when a women devotee accused the godman of molesting him for almost 3 years using coercionary methods at the Dera headquarter in Sirsa. All of them await the impending verdict on the 1999 rape case.
With the Dera chief confirming his presence in Panchkula today, his supporters are unlikely to move back despite numerous appeals from the security forces.
Niwas apprised that 53 companies of paramilitary forces from the CG and 50000 personnel of Haryana Police have been deployed.
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Meanwhile, the Internet and mobile phone services have been suspended for 72 hours in Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh.
So far, 85 companies of paramilitary forces out of the 250 requisitioned by the state government have reached Punjab. Contact is being established with Dera followers and efforts are being made to maintain peace, he said. The buses of Haryana Roadways coming to Chandigarh and Panchkula have already been terminated.
The Home department of the Union Territory, Chandigarh, has declared the cricket stadium in Sector-16, which was associated with early training days of legendary Kapil Dev and has hosted several domestic and global matches, as "temporary jail" on August 25.
The note has also urged all the officers to "deploy sufficient manpower and to make adequate law and order arrangements to ensure that all necessary steps including preventive and precautionary (steps) are taken" to ensure that no untoward incident occurs.
The hearing has been going on since 2007. The work has been suspended in Panchkula court till the day of verdict on August 25 and a special route is allowed for Advocates to enter the court.
An official spokesperson said that all the offices, boards, corporations, agencies and public sector organisations of the Punjab government will remain closed on Friday.