Rohtak: Punjab, Haryana and its neighbouring states are on the edge, as the quantum of sentence of Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim is scheduled to be pronounced on Monday at around 2.30 p.m.
The self-styled godman was convicted of rape charges on Friday, following which his ‘bhakts’ went on a rampage in Panchkula and Sirsa, demanding justice for their leader.
In what was seen as a massive upheaval, an ocean of people resorted to vandalising public property – by destroying public transport, burning vehicles and even attacking the media.
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Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) B.S. Sandhu revealed that 52 cases were registered and 926 people arrested so far. As for casualties, 38 people died in the violence; six casualties from Sirsa and 32 from Panchkula were reported. Also, over 250 people were injured.
Following this, arrangements were made for the sitting of a CBI Court in the Sunaria District Jail, where the rape convict is currently stationed, for the pronouncement of quantum of the sentence.
Meanwhile, Panchkula, Sirsa, Uttar Pradesh and neighbouring areas have been put on high alert, with paramilitary forces deployed in various pockets of the states.
Rohtak District Collector (DC) Atul Kumar stated that if any anti-social elements are spotted trying to harm themselves or others, shoot at sight orders will be passed immediately.
Additionally, to avoid unnecessary movement of vehicles around the Sunaria Jail, schools and colleges will remain closed.
The Dera chief has been convicted on two counts for rape (Section 376 IPC), criminal intimidation (Section 506 IPC) and Section 509 (word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman). Reports suggest that the minimum punishment for rape is seven years which may extend till life (term). The other sections have imprisonment for two and one years respectively.