The government of Punjab expresses its concerns with anticipating about the law and order situation in the state that can take place on account of the upcoming August 25 verdict in the rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. “There is anticipation among the followers of DSS [Dera Sacha Sauda] that the judicial verdict can go against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who may be held guilty and there may be exultation among radical Sikhs,” the Punjab Home department said. Referring to the intelligence reports, it has approached the Union Home Secretary in writing, requesting 256 companies of central armed police forces to Punjab for 11 days from August 21 to August 31.
A CBI court in Panchkula will announce the verdict in the alleged rape of a Sadhvi in which the accused is Gurmeet Ram Rahim . As per the report of the state home department there were 13 districts with sizeable Dera followers in Punjab and 12 companies of paramilitary force are to be deployed in every district. In three police commissionerates of Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar, 1the projected requirement is of 10 companies and 5 ompanies in each for 11 other districts. In order to secure the railway network, another 15 companies are projected to be deployed for the purpose.
There are 98 Naam Charcha Ghars, the name given to Dera religious halls throughout Punjab and the state wants to deploy forces at each one of them to halt an outbreak of violence around them. “A lot of material is already circulating on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and other platforms, leading to the building-up of an atmosphere of distrust and anger,” said a communique by the Punjab Home department to the Union Home Secretary, adding that Punjab had already begun conscientious planning and preparations to deal with any situation that is apprehended.
“Long meetings are being held to form strategy and discuss various important measures to tackle situation of any kind. All the resources are being mobilised with orders being issued that there is 100 per cent force mobilisation in all the districts. In addition to the force available at district level, additional manpower from the armed battalions is also being mobilised. As many as 40 companies of armed police, 19 anti-riot police teams, 03 Striking Groups and 01 Ghatak Team have been mobilised. Further, 7550 police personnel from various units and wings, including training institutes, have been mobilised for deployment to face the current challenge. Army authorities have also been alerted so that their assistance can be taken as and when the need arises,” it said.
Making the case for central help, the communique said available and mobilised forces of the state police alone will not be sufficient to tackle the grave and precarious law and order situation that may arise if an adverse verdict is passed against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief. Adding to the tension are the hostile relations between Sikhs and Dera followers.