Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh’s conviction by a CBI court regarding a rape case triggered violent reactions by his supporters in Haryana, Punjab and adjoining areas. Haryana police chief B S Sandhu said on Friday night that 550 people have been rounded up and some arms and ammunition recovered after the violence in Panchkula.
He said curfew, which was clamped in Panchkula in the evening, has been lifted but certain restrictions are still in place.“Three rifles, three pistols along with live cartridges and narcotics have been recovered and 65 Dera vehicles have been impounded,” the DGP said at a late night press conference.
Sandhu said 28 people died in the violence in Panchkula, six of them due to bullet injuries.He said 60 policemen, including two SSPs, were also injured in the violence. The DGP said Panchkula was now peaceful and all Dera supporters have moved out even as some restrictions were still in place.
Flag marches will be carried out in Panchkula by security forces, he informed. The DGP said that except for Sirsa, where the sect is headquartered, situation in rest of Haryana is under control. Sandhu said the Dera chief was airlifted to Rohtak, where he has been lodged in district jail in Sunaria, which lies nearly 10 km on the outskirts the town.
He said the decision to airlift him was taken as part of strategy as Dera followers could have created problem for the security personnel had he been taken by road. Notably, the Dera head had arrived in Panchkula from Sirsa on Friday in a huge convoy of cars.
Asked why the Dera followers were not evicted on Thursday night, the DGP said best efforts were made in this regard but as there were large number of women and children among the crowds, security personnel avoided taking any tough action lest the situation escalated.
He also appealed to media persons to share video footage with the police to identify people indulging in violence.
With PTI inputs