On Monday more Army deployment in Haryana continued two days after violence erupted following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, with four more columns being deployed in the sect’s headquarters in the state’s Sirsa ahead of the sentencing. On Sunday, the number of army columns deployed in Sirsa went up to 12, from eight deployed on Saturday, an army official said.
A flag march was also taken out by the army in Sirsa, the official said, adding an area domination patrol has been carried out and the situation is in control. In Panchkula, where the violence started soon after the controversial godman was convicted by a CBI court, 12 columns of army remain deployed. Meanwhile, in Punjab’s Mukhtsar and Mansa, which have prominent centers of the Dera, two columns each remain deployed, Army sources said.
CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh on August 25 held the Dera sect leader, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002. Around 36 people died and over 250 were injured in violence that erupted after the conviction. The sect chief was shifted to a prison near Rohtak, about 70 km from Delhi, under heavy security. The quantum of punishment in the case will be pronounced on Monday at a special court being set up in the prison premises in Rohtak. The judge will be flown to Rohtak for announcing the sentence.