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Gurmeet Ram Rahim rape trial on Aug 25, violence by followers feared

Ram Rahim Singh

Chandigarh: Ahead of the verdict in a rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, Punjab Director General of Police (DGP), in an alert to all Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs), Inspector Generals (IGs) and Senior Superintendents of Police (SSPs), warned that Dera followers were keeping drums filled with petrol and diesel, sharp-edged weapons and stones at Naam Charcha Ghars, where their prayer ceremonies are held in Faridkot.

Hundreds of the followers have also arrived in Panchkula and camped near the courthouse where the judgment will be pronounced. The Panchkula town administration has asked petrol pump owners to prevent open sale of fuel to people.

The special CBI court in Panchkula will pronounce the judgement in the rape case against Rahim on 25 August and the chief of the Sirsa-headquartered sect has been asked to appear in person.

It was reported that CBI booked the Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in almost 15-years ago in December 2002 for allegedly raping two female followers inside the Dera. Though the trial in the alleged rape case began nearly six years after the CBI booked Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in 2008. In the chargesheet prepared by CBI, it claimed to have come across more victims allegedly raped by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Reportedly the authorities in Punjab and Haryana had asked the police in both states to be on alert. A two-day ban — on 24 and 25 August — has been imposed on vehicular movement on roads near Haryana’s Panchkula district court complex in view of the verdict.

Stern action would be taken against those found violating the instructions, Deputy Commissioner of Panchakula Gauri Parashar Joshi had said. Two control rooms have been set up in view of the possibility of any “emergent” situation.

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