A special CBI court in Panchkula is all set to announce its verdict on Friday in a rape case involving Dera Sach Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. The CBI registered the case against Ram Rahim Singh on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters alleging sexual exploitation of two female followers by the self-styled godman surfaced in 2002 .Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, however, has denied all these charges. Around 2,00,000 followers of the Dera chief have assembled at “Naam Charcha Ghar”, the congregation centre, in Panchkula to show their solidarity with Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
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A heavy security blanket has been put in place across Punjab and Haryana to tackle any emergency if Dera supporters resort to violence or create obstacles in maintaining the law and order in the area. The Dera chief, however, on Thursday confirmed that he'll appear in person before the court tomorrow and appealed to his followers to maintain peace.
Ram Rahim rape case verdict: As it happened on Thursday
# Gurmeet Ram Rahim urges followers to not take law and order in hand.
# Ram Rahim urges followers to leave Panchkula and go back home. Asks them to maintain peace through video message.
# Curfew imposed in three vilages near Sirsa.
# Police starts evicting over two lakh followers of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh from Panchkula and Chandigarh, ahead of Friday's court verdict, even as the Army is to be deployed in Panchkula
# SMS and data services have been restricted in Gurgaon and Faridabad
# 20 columns of the Army from the western Command will be deployed in Panchkula late on Thursday night along with the paramilitary and state police forces to handle any exigency: B S Sandhu
# High Court has ordered to remove Ram Rahim's supporters from Panchkula tonight, Army is also coming for assistance: Haryana DGP
# The situation in Panchkula is under control as of now: Haryana DGP
# Indefinite curfew would be imposed in Sirsa town and three nearby villages from 10 pm tonight as a "precautionary measure" to maintain law and order ahead of tomorrow's court verdict
# Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks to Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
# As a precaution, the administration has declared a three-day holiday in all schools in Chandigarh till Saturday. The Haryana government too has closed all colleges and libraries in Panchkula district till Friday.
# In Punjab, prohibitory orders have been imposed and all schools and colleges would be closed on Friday. All Punjab government offices located in Chandigarh will be closed on Friday.
# Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar told all ministers and legislators to be in their constituencies till Friday.
# Plying of buses to Chandigarh and Panchkula would be suspended till Friday. Likewise, the Railways cancelled 22 trains bound for Haryana. A Northern Railway spokesman said six trains going to Haryana were cancelled on Thursday.
02:30pm- Punjab and Haryana High Court rebukes Centre, Haryana for failing to check law and order situation
02:20pm- 22 trains cancelled ahead of the verdict in Ram Raheem case tomorrow.
01:45pm- Haryana health department puts hospitals on alert for the next three days.
01:30pm- Panchkula district police install 18 CCTV cameras on all the important roads that lead towards court complex.
01:10pm- Haryana Additional Chief Secretary (Home), Ram Niwas urges the Dera followers to respect the court’s judgment to be announced on August 25 and help maintain law and order.
12:25pm- High alert issued in the state of Haryana
12:00pm- Have always obeyed law, Will appear in court, tweets Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
10:45am- Buses will not ply from bus depots in Bathinda, Budhlada, Sangrur and Barnala on Aug 25 and 26: ANI
10:30am - About 10 companies of paramilitary force, including women, arrive in Chandigarh to help administration maintain the law and order.
10:15am - Administration bans sale of acid in several districts of Punjab till August 31 in order to prevent its use for by Dera supporters to create violence.
10:00am - According to police, Dera followers have stored sharp-edged weapons and stones on the roof of the congregation centre.
09:45am - Dera followers assembling in large numbers at Dera Sach Sauda’s Sector 23 based “Naam Charcha Ghar” in Panchkula ahead of the verdict.
09:30am - Tight security arrangements made near the routes leading to the district court complex in Panchkula to maintain law and order in the area in view of the upcoming judgment in Ram Rahim case.