Punjab beefs up security ahead of Dera chief's sentence

Dera head Gurmit Ram Rahim was found guilty in a case

The home minister was apprised about the steps taken to maintain law and order and restore peace, said an official privy to the development.

As today is the day that final verdict will be given on Baba Ram Rahim for his sexual assault case, a curfew like situation prevails in Chandigarh and both states of Punjab and Haryana.

Asked whether the Haryana Government had failed to control the situation, Mehrishi said, "In an ongoing situation we can not blame anyone".

"The other issue discussed was the ongoing encounter in Pulwama.two to four terrorists are still trapped", he said, adding that a house was also set ablaze.

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Sources said all measures are being taken to ensure that there is no repeat of Friday's violence in Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi. People are not being allowed to come out of their homes.

He said no loss of life was reported in any of the minor incidents reported in some parts of Punjab after the Dera chief was convicted by a CBI court at Panchkula in Haryana.

"Punjab and Delhi didn't see as many incidents after the court verdict". He pointed out that trouble could have been averted had the Dera supporters been stopped from aggregating in one place. He said state governments had full information about crowds pouring in and should have anticipated their likely reaction to the court verdict, but failed to handle the situation effectively.

Following the conviction of the sect head yesterday, at least 36 people were killed and over 250 injured in widespread violence, arson and police firing in Haryana. In Punjab, two columns each Mansa and Malaut are deployed to maintain law and order.

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She said it was the third such occasion when the Khattar Government has badly let down the people.

Mr Singh also claimed that the Haryana government, at no point in time, approached the Punjab to stop Dera supporters from reaching Panchkula.

Sirsa, home to Dera Sacha Sauda's chief Ram Rahim is already under curfew. All intelligence inputs received by the Punjab police had been shared with Haryana, he added.

- Six private commandos of Ram Rahim Singh arrested by Chandigarh Police, weapons and petrol cans seized from them.

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