Maintaining law and order will be the top priority for the Haryana police on Monday, when the quantum of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's sentence will be announced, state DGP B S Sandhu said today even as the toll in Friday's violence rose to 38. To ensure there was no repeat of violence that erupted in Panchkula last week when thousands of Dera followers gathered around the CBI court that convicted Singh in a rape case, all routes to the Sunaria jail in Rohtak, where the self-styled godman has been lodged, have been sealed.
Addressing a press conference here, DGP Sandhu said that in Haryana, only Sirsa, where the sect is headquartered, was now under curfew.
"The top priority now is to ensure that law and order is maintained when the sentencing of convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief takes place in Rohtak tomorrow," he said.
The DGP added that the death toll in the violence that broke out in Panchkula and Sirsa after the conviction of the Dera chief on Friday had risen to 38.
While 32 persons died in the violence on Friday at Panchkula, six others died at Sirsa, where curfew was still in place, he said.
The Dera chief is now lodged in the Sunaria jail in Rohtak, where the special CBI court judge will be flown from here for the pronouncement of the sentence.
On Friday, the court had convicted the Dera chief in a rape case.
In Rohtak, foolproof arrangements have been made and all routes leading to the jail have been sealed, DGP Sandhu said.
Asked about a 35-year-old cameraman of a news channel being attacked today at Sirsa allegedly by Dera followers, Sandhu said a case has been registered in this regard.
He sought to assure media persons that the police will give them full protection, but urged them to take precautions when they venture out into sensitive areas.
Educational institutions in Haryana to remain shut tomorrow
In view of the prevailing tense situation, all schools, colleges and other educational institutions will remain closed tomorrow, a senior official said.
"All educational institutions, including government and private schools, colleges and other institutions in the entire state, will remain closed tomorrow," Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Ram Niwas, said in an official release.
Haryana is on a high alert after violence in Panchkula and Sirsa on Friday left 38 people dead and over 250 injured following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case by a CBI court in Panchkula.