New Delhi: Ahead of the Friday’s order in the sexual assault case against controversial self-styled Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, intelligence inputs say that his followers have stored petrol, diesel in drums and are stocking sharp edged weapons and stones at the prayer centre of the Dera Sacha Sauda premises.
Director General of Police (Law and Order) Punjab, in a letter to all the senior police officers of the state has said “it has come to the notice that Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa premises, has stock of petrol, diesel in drums.”
The letter also says that stones and sharp-edged weapons are being stored at ‘Naam Charcha Ghars’ (prayer centre) in Faridkot district. The police fears that if the court verdict goes against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, then his “devotees can use petrol and weapons to harm/destroy the government or public properties”.
A copy of the letter sent by DGP (Law and Order), Punjab, to all the senior police officers of the state. (Photo: CNN-News18)
Both Haryana and Punjab have been put on high alert ahead of the court order. As a precautionary measure, government has ordered closure of schools and colleges in Panchkula district on August 24 and 25. About 160 companies of central forces have also been called in, including the CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and SSB. Ninety seven companies of CRPF’s Rapid Action Force and a women’s company have also been deployed. The number could go up after another round of threat assessment meeting on Thursday.
Over 35,000 followers of the Dera are estimated to have already reached and many more are still arriving at the sect's Sector-23 based 'Naam Charcha Ghar' (congregation/prayer centre) in Panchkula to show their solidarity with the sect chief, who has been asked to appear in person in the special CBI court on Friday.
When asked if Ram Rahim will appeal to his followers to help maintain law and order and peace, a spokesman of Dera Sacha Sauda said, “During his Satsangs in mornings and evenings, Guruji always talks about humanity and things which will benefit humanity. He talks about tree plantation, organ donations, blood donation and helping out weaker sections”.
Security forces in Haryana and Punjab have been taking out flag marches at many sensitive places. Haryana government has already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure. Police have also set up barricades at several places in the two states, besides the common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.