Mobile and Internet services were suspended in Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh ahead of CBI court’s verdict in a molestation case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh on August 25.
Section 144 was also imposed in Haryana to avoid any law and order problems as thousands of followers of Dera chief gathered in Chandigarh and neighbouring districts of the state.
“Section 144 (which bars gathering of more than 4 persons at a place) has been imposed in all the districts of Haryana,” the state’s Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas said in Chandigarh while briefing about the security arrangements.
Further, 22 trains have been cancelled on the Haryana route and mobile internet services have been suspended for 72 hours in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh.
He further said that carrying of any kind of stick or weapon has also been prohibited at ‘Naam Charcha Ghar’ of Dera followers, amid reports that ‘premis’ (dera followers) had started descending at different places including Panchkula and Ambala.
The officials have also requested Indian railways to immediately stop all the passenger trains coming to Chandigarh as more followers are expected to reach ahead of Friday’s verdict.
The Haryana government has also requested the Centre to provide 115 companies of paramilitary forces. While Punjab had already received 75 companies of central forces, Haryana got 35 companies to maintain security.
Police along with paramilitary forces like the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and SSB, held flag marches at vulnerable places including Moga, Bathinda, Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala, Ludhaina, Panchkula, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Ambala, Hisar, officials said.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh warned against any attempt to disrupt the state’s law and order in view of the upcoming judgement by the Panchkula court.
“All steps are being taken to ensure that law and order is not disturbed in any way in the wake of the court order,” Ram Niwas said.
Punjab DGP Suresh Arora personally visited the sensitive areas and put fool-proof security network in place to prevent any untoward incident, officials said.
(With PTI inputs)