Ahead of the CBI Special Court’s verdict in Dera Sacha Sauda chief, Ram Rahim rape case, Punjab has deployed about 25,000 personnel from the paramilitary forces and the state police.
The border with Haryana has been sealed, while the Army has been told to remain prepared to be called at a short notice. Senior Range-level officers of the police held a meeting with Army officers in Bathinda, while Muktsar Deputy Commissioner Sumeet Jarangal sought Army deployment in Gidderbaha, one of the sensitive areas.
DGP Suresh Arora, who toured various parts of the state today with DGP (Law and Order) HS Dhillon and DGP (Intelligence) Dinkar Gupta, said the police were on maximum alert.
“We have adequate personnel. All wings of the government are working in tandem and the situation is under control.”
The police top brass said this was the biggest deployment of security forces in the state in the past decade or so.
So far, 85 companies of paramilitary forces out of the 250 requisitioned by the state government have reached Punjab.
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has ordered the withdrawal of 1,000 police personnel from VVIP security for posting on field duty to strengthen the security blanket, an official spokesperson said after a meeting attended by Arora, Gupta, Dhillon and others.
Mobile Internet Services Suspended in Punjab, Haryana & Chandigarh
Mobile internet services have been banned in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh for 72 hours, Haryana Additional Chief Secretary, Ram Niwas said, adding that joint control room have been set up in Punjab and Haryana for better condition. Additionally, bus services to Chandigarh has also been suspended.
Schools, Colleges closed on 25th August
All schools and colleges in the state would remain closed on August 25. State transport buses will not ply to Haryana that day. Section 144 of the CrPC, banning the assembly of more than four persons in an area, has been imposed across the state.
The jail department has segregated inmates who are dera supporters from other prisoners so as to avoid clashes, even as a government spokesperson said the police had seized five walkie-talkies from suspected dera followers.
Harcharan Singh, a member of the dera’s state committee, said in Malout:
“If the decision comes in our favour, we will celebrate it. But if the court gives an adverse verdict, we have asked the followers to maintain peace as well as law and order. We are holding naam charcha (congregation) here every morning,” he added.
Meanwhile, the police and paramilitary forces carried out a flag march in Bathinda today. Bathinda and Mansa districts, which have a sizeable number of dera followers, share their border with Sirsa, the sect headquarters.
Forty-two companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the seven districts of the Bathinda Zone. IG MS Chhina said all vehicles entering Punjab were being checked.
In Mansa, cops carried out a mob-control drill. The 2007 clashes between Sikhs and dera followers had started from this district.
In Muktsar, DGP Suresh Arora held a meeting with the civil administration and police officers of Muktsar and Fazilka districts today to review the security arrangements.
The respective district administrations have banned the sale of bottled petrol, diesel, acid and other inflammable material. Many fuel station owners have decided to stop the sale of petrol and diesel for the next few days. Arms dealers have been told to suspend operations till further orders.
Education Activist suspends fast
Sangrur: Vidya Bachao Sangharsh committee convener Purshotam Phagguwala, who has been on fast since August 16 in protest against the FCS Foundation for not releasing funds for five Adarsh Schools, on Wednesday suspended his strike in view of the CBI court’s verdict. “I have suspended my fast. I will resume my protest after the court pronounces its verdict,” he said. TNS
22 Trains in Haryana Cancelled
Ahead of the verdict on Friday, 22 trains have been cancelled in Haryana, said ANI.
Moga bans walkie-talkie sets
Moga: District Magistrate Dilraj Singh Sandhawalia on Wednesday banned the use of walkie-talkie sets by private companies and individuals as a preventive measure to avoid any untoward incident. The Army, paramilitary forces and the state police have been exempted from this order, an official spokesman of the district administration said. TNS
BFUHS postpones exams
Faridkot: In view of a tense situation in the state, the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) on Wednesday postponed the theory examinations of B Pharmacy, Bachelors of Physiotherapy, Masters of Physiotherapy, and B Sc nursing and basic nursing. The exams were scheduled for Friday, the day a CBI court will pronounce the verdict. The university will declare the revised dates for the exams later. TNS