40,000 dera followers reach P’kula

PANCHKULA: Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda have started reaching Naam Charcha Ghar in Sector 23, Panchkula, in large numbers in view of the CBI court’s verdict on the rape case against dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25.

40,000 dera followers reach P’kula

Dera Sacha Sauda followers gather at Sector 23 in Panchkula on Tuesday. Tribune Photo: Nitin Mittal

Rajinder Nagarkoti

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, August 22

Followers of Dera Sacha Sauda have started reaching Naam Charcha Ghar in Sector 23, Panchkula, in large numbers in view of the CBI court’s verdict on the rape case against dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on August 25.

Sources said over 40,000 followers had already reached Panchkula. They had put up tents near Naam Charcha Ghar and were staying there.

The Panchkula police have barricaded the entire Sector 1 and have also closed the road dividing Sectors 1 and 2. Advocates, litigants and the public are facing inconvenience due to security arrangements.

The entry from Majri Chowk and Old Panchkula Chowk to Sector 1 has been closed by the police. People coming from Barwala and Ramgarh have to travel 3 km extra to reach Panchkula.

The Panchkula District Courts Bar Association has decided to suspend work in the Panchkula District Courts from August 23 to 25. Sandeep Kumar Loura, president of the District Bar Association, Panchkula, said the decision was taken to co-operate with the police in maintaining the law and order situation.

Today, heated arguments were witnessed between advocates and the police over the entry of advocates into the court complex.

Panchkula Deputy Commissioner Gauri Prashar Joshi today convened a meeting of dera followers and urged them to lend support to the district administration in maintaining peace and law and order. Panchkula MLA Gian Chand Gupta also appealed to the dera supporters to cooperate in maintaining peace and not to spoil the environment by any means. They should respect the court decision, whatever it was, he said.

Sec 144 imposed in all dists

Ram Niwas, Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Haryana, also held a meeting with Panchkla district administration officials on Tuesday evening. He said Section 144 had been imposed in all districts of the state and carrying of any kind of stick or weapon had been prohibited at Naam Charcha Ghar of dera followers.

Public facing inconvenience

As the Panchkula police have put up barricades and set up check-points on all roads entering Panchkula, residents are facing inconvenience. People who had their cases listed in the Panchkula courts also faced inconvenience.

P’kula schools, colleges closed on Aug 24, 25

Schools and colleges will remain closed on August 24 and 25 in Panchkula in view of the verdict in the case against the dera chief. Government College and two private schools in Sector 1 will remain closed for three days — August 23 to 25 — as the police have barricaded Sector 1.

Pvt schools to remain closed for 3 days

The Panchkula Public School Association, that has all 25 private schools as its members, has resolved to keep their schools closed from August 23 to August 25 in view of the dera case verdict. A spokesperson for the association, Jivtesh Garg, said the decision was taken for the safety of students.

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