Police on their toes ahead of verdict in Dera chief case

Seventy-five companies of paramilitary forces that the Centre has sanctioned for Punjab to deal with any law and order problem arising out of the verdict are expected to arrive in batches by Sunday evening

Judgement would be delivered on August 25 by a special CBI court in Panchkula.

A joint meeting of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh administration was held on Tuesday in Chandigarh and the cricket Stadium in Sector 16 was notified as a temporary jail for August 25.

On behalf of the director general of police (law and order), the inspector general of police (law and order) has issued a letter to all SSPs, commissioner of police and IGPs directing them to remain alert against untoward actions by the Dera followers, Hindustan Times reported.

Thousands of policemen and paramilitary troops were, meanwhile, deployed in Punjab and Haryana today with Section 144 being imposed in both states, as thousands of followers have gathered near the Panchkula courthouse where the judgment will be delivered.

"5,000 policemen are guarding different parts of Chandigarh where almost 35,000 dera followers of Dera Chief Ram Rahim have already congregated in solidarity with him at the local headquarters of his sect, the Dera Sacha Sauda".

Anti-social elements or any other person who would try to disturb law and order would be arrested, the Haryana official said.

Ram Niwas said 35 companies of the paramilitary forces had already reached the state and security forces have been pressed into service in border areas.

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh warned against any attempts to disrupt peace in the state.

The followers of dera chief have threatened violent reaction if dera chief was convicted in the rape case.

To maintain law and order, the Punjab government has received 75 companies of central forces to maintain law and order.

He said carrying of any kind of stick or weapon has also been prohibited at "Naam Charcha Ghar" of Dera followers.

'We have requested the Centre to provide additional forces and it is hoped that the state will soon get it. Police nakas are being laid where all vehicles will be checked. "These forces would collaborate with police personnel to maintain law and order situation in the district. All state borders have been sealed and inter-state and inter-district vehicular activities are closely monitored", he said.

Duty magistrates have been deployed at all locations, Niwas said, adding there was need to deploy additional duty magistrates in some districts and sanction for which is being released.

Administration is already taking preventive and precautionary steps to keep the situation under control.



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