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Posted at: Jan 12, 2019, 7:20 AM; last updated: Jan 12, 2019, 7:20 AM (IST)

Lessons learnt, followers of dera don’t show up

Security blanket was in place as P’kula court convicted Ram Rahim

Work remained suspended in other courts

  • Work in other courts in the District Courts complex remained suspended as the Bar had announced not to function “to save the life and property of advocates functioning from the court”.

People distribute sweets

  • Elated over the judgment convicting Ram Rahim Singh, some people distributed sweets. They said the truth had prevailed and justice had been meted to journalist Chhatrapati who had fearlessly launched a campaign against Ram Rahim's empire.
Lessons learnt, followers of dera don’t show up
Securitymen stand guard outside the court after the judgment in the Chhatrapati murder case against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief and three others in Panchkula on Friday. TRIBUNE PHOTO: RAVI KUMAR

Sanjay Bumbroo

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, January 11

Apparently taking a cue from the “treatment” at the hands of the police and paramilitary forces in August 2017, no dera follower turned up in Panchkula today where the special CBI court pronounced the judgment in the journalist Ram Chander Chhatrapati murder case. 

Even Naam Charcha Ghar in Sector 23 across the Ghaggar wore a deserted look as no follower turned up there. Only three caretakers of Naam Charcha Ghar were seen along with a few policemen, who had been posted there to keep tabs on any possible gathering of dera followers.

One of the supporters of the dera said on condition of anonymity that they were followers of the dera and not of any individual. He said the law should take its own course, adding that they would not support those who had done anything wrong.

He said dera followers were not ready to risk their lives again as families of those killed in the violence in 2017 had not received any compensation from the dera or the government. 

At least 36 persons had been killed during the violence after the pronouncement of the judgment against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. 

Though there were reports from the security agencies that no dera follower from the tricity or from neighbouring states would come to the city, the police were not taking any chances. Besides imposing Section 144 in the city, the police had made elaborate arrangements to thwart any move of dera followers to disturb peace in the city. The police had deployed personnel in plainclothes to keep tabs on mischievous elements.

The security agencies in Panchkula as well as Mohali and Chandigarh were on high alert. Nine companies, including four of the paramilitary forces, were deployed in the city. The court complex had virtually been turned into a cantonment. No outsider was allowed to cross the checkpoints leading to the court complex. Only those who were to appear in court cases and had proper documents were allowed.

Mediapersons started gathering near a chowk about 200 metres away from the special CBI court around 9 am. A huge contingent of the police was deployed there and OB vans of channels were ordered to be stationed about 300 metres away from the court.

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