Dera Sacha Sauda chief verdict: Haryana gets additional force, may call army

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Chandigarh, Aug 23 : Haryana on Wednesday said it got eight additional companies of paramilitary forces and an additional force of 2,500 security personnel to handle any exigency arising in the wake of a verdict this week in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief.

Additional Chief Secretary Ram Niwas said the government would also call the army, if the need arises, and even impose curfew.

Meanwhile, as a precautionary measure, the local administration has declared a three-day holiday in all schools in Chandigarh.

Likewise, the Haryana government has decided that all colleges and libraries in Panchkula district would remain closed till August 25.

A Special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Panchkula adjoining Chandigarh will pronounce its verdict in the rape case against Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25. The court has asked the sect chief to appear in the court on the day of verdict.

The case hearing has been going on since 2007.

The sect chief, who has lakhs of followers in Punjab, Haryana, and other states, has been accused by a former female follower of raping her more than once inside the sprawling Dera campus on the outskirts of Sirsa town in Haryana, 260 km from Chandigarh.

Elaborating about the arrangements, Niwas told reporters here that about 2,000 Home Guards have been called to join duty to manage crowds and adequate arrangements have been made to deal with any situation.

Exhorting the sect followers to keep faith in judiciary, he said directions have been issued to all Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police to initiate preventive steps according to the intelligence inputs being received.

Replying to a query on converting government buildings as temporary jails, he said this has been conveyed to the Director General of Prisons.

The Additional Chief Secretary said undesirable material has been recovered from some vehicles during police checking in the state.

Preventive arrests would also be made, if required, he said.

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