Tight security in Rohtak ahead of Dera chief’s sentencing

first_imgHours ahead of the pronouncing of sentence against rape convict Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, security personnel guarding the Sunaria Jail, where he is lodged, have been authorised to open fire at nefarious elements.Inspector General (Rohtak Range) Navdeep Virk on Monday told The Hindu that 100 preventive arrests had been made so far and 10 Deras of Ram Rahim — falling under his jurisdiction — have been sealed.Mr. Virk later told the media that on interrogation some of the detained had revealed that weaopns had been stored at Dera in Sonepat. Based on this information the weapons have been seized.”The situation is under control,” he added.Deputy Commissioner Atul Kumar Dwivedi said that shoot-at-sight orders were given during curfew. However, security personnel forming part of the multi-layered cordon around the jail complex have been given orders to open fire, if found necessary to control the situation.Mr. Dwivedi said he, along with senior police officers, patrolled the area till late on Sunday night. “All the security arrangements are in place,” he said.Security at high alertAll roads leading to the jail in one-km radius have been heavily barricaded and police pickets set up, with no civilians being allowed to enter the cordoned zone. Surprise checks are also being carried out in nearby villages.Apart from the local police, over 2,300 para-military forces have been deployed. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.PC have been issued. All schools and colleges are closed as a precautionary measure.As directed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh, who convicted Ram Rahim on August 25 in Panchkula, is being flown down to the jail premises to hear arguments of both sides on the quantum of sentence. The order is expected anytime after 2-30 p.m.The Indian Penal Code provisions under which Ram Rahim has been held guilty attract a maximum of 10 years and a minimum of seven years imprisonment.Jail authorities have prepared a make-shift court room for the hearing and pronouncement of sentence.Weapons seizedThe Inspector General of Police later told the media that over 100 weapons, including sticks and iron rods, have been seized from a Dera in Sonepat’s Bahalgarh, which is about 100 km from Rohtak city.”The weapons were seized from the fields inside the Dera complex,  at the instance of some of the suspects who were rounded up earlier,” said the officer.While the police are registering a separate FIR in this connection, investigations are under way to identify the others  involved.”No specific intelligence on Dera followers’ plans”The police have so far no specific intelligence input on any plans of the Ram Rahim followers to indulge in violence in and around Rohtak post pronouncement of sentence.On Monday morning, the IG again took a round to review security arrangements around the jail premises.The BSF personnel, in anti-riot gears, have been deployed along with the local police. Each and every vehicle entering the city is being checked.According to the police, the prosecution team has already arrived in the jail premises. It will press for maximum punishment to Ram Rahim.last_img

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