CHANDIGARH: Haryana and Punjab were on high alert on Monday ahead of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief’s sentencing, as officials warned that violent miscreants will be shot at sight, and described the security situation as ‘challenging’.
A multilayer security cordon manned by police and 23 companies of paramilitary forces has been thrown in and around Rohtak and also around the Sunaria Jail where the sect leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is lodged. The Army has been kept on standby.
CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh was flown to Rohtak where he pronounced the sentence in the jail.
Authorities were geared up to prevent a repeat of the mayhem on Friday by the followers of the 50-year-old sect chief after he was convicted of rape. The violence claimed 32 lives in Panchkula and six in Sirsa, besides leaving over 260 injured.
Rohtak Deputy Commissioner Atul Kumar said police will not hesitate to open fire again at those spreading violence. “It is a challenging situation, but we are prepared”, Kumar told reporters.
“We are prepared to deal with any unscrupulous element who may try to create trouble ... if there is any such element who indulges in any act of violence endangering innocent lives, if he does not pay heed to warnings then shoot-at-sight will be used against him. Action will be taken as the situation demands,” he asserted.
He said the Rohtak administration and security personnel were dealing with a “dynamic and challenging situation”. “We have clarity of thought, we are not confused. If we feel any person is endangering lives of innocent people and is causing damage to property, then shoot-at-sight will be used (to deal in such a situation),” he said.
Haryana DGP B S Sandhu also said that ‘maintaining law and order is the top priority for the Haryana Police today.”
A special court room was been made within the Sunaria jail, Rohtak Range IG, Navdeep Singh Virk said.
He said the Haryana Police was fully geared to deal with any situation and police from neighbouring districts too has been deployed.
“We have also been provided 23 companies of paramilitary forces by the Central government. We have sufficient forces and we have deployed them. We are on our toes 24x7 and we are 100 per cent certain that there will be no untoward incident,” he said, adding the Army, however, will be on standby.
He said it will be ensured that no Dera follower is allowed to enter Rohtak district or come near the jail.
‘NO UNTOWARD INCIDENT’
No untoward incident was reported from Sirsa after the pronouncement of the quantum of sentence. IAS officer Umashankar also said that the district authorities had ordered the attachment of the Sirsa-based Dera’s accounts and compensation to those affected in the violence earlier could be given from these.