Chandigarh: Ahead of the court verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Haryana and Punjab governments have made elaborate security arrangements across the state.
Chandigarh is in total lockdown 24 hours ahead of a verdict on whether popular and self-styled spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh sexually exploited two women followers nearly 15 years ago.
Crowds have been banned from gathering, schools and colleges are closed, and nearly 7,000 policemen have been assigned to prevent violence by the guru’s followers who have congregated in different prayer centres that double up as headquarters for the 50-year-old’s Dera Sacha Sauda sect.
The government of Haryana has said it will seek the army’s help if needed.
The verdict is likely to be pronounced on Friday (August 25). Security forces were carrying out flag marches at many sensitive places in both the states, as per sources.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has said nobody would be allowed to disturb law and order in the state.
In Punjab, all schools and colleges have been ordered to remain shut on Friday.
State-owned Punjab Roadways will not run its buses towards Sirsa, where the headquarter of Dera is located, from Thursday, while PRTC will stop plying of buses towards Haryana on Friday.
The Haryana Roadways too have decided to suspend its bus service to Chandigarh and Panchkula depots for two days from Thursday, sources said.