The streets of Panchkula turned into a battlefield as protesters went on rampage after a special CBI court found Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty of rape in a 15-year-old case. Central paramilitary and police forces had to lob teargas shells to evict the protesters who resorted to vandalism and arson. The Army has been called in to control the situation in Panchkula. At least three people have been reported dead and 10 people injured in separate incidents of violence. Curfew has been imposed in five districts of Punjab. In Panchkula, followers of the Dera sect set fire to the Income Tax Office. At least three railways stations in Punjab have been set on fire following the verdict against Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh. Violence was also reported from Sirsa, where the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters are located. At least 120 incidents have been reported within two hours of the court verdict. The self-styled godman was taken into custody immediately after the verdict was read out. A medical test was conducted on him in the court premises. He is likely to be taken to the Rohtak Jail, sources said. The Dera sect chief now faces from seven years in jail to life imprisonment following his conviction.
The CBI had registered the rape case against the Dera chief on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters accusing Ram Rahim of sexually exploiting two of his female followers surfaced in 2002.
# We used tear gas, lathicharge, pellet bullets and fired on them (protesters) where arson was reported. 3 rifles, pistols, cartridges, narcotics recovered from 65 cars of Dera people during checking: Sandhu
10:25pm: It would have been very difficult to take Ram Rahim Singh to Ambala jail as Dera followers were there on the way. As a strategy, we didn't take Ram Rahim Singh to Ambala but Rohtak's Sunaria jail where he is present right now: BS Sandhu, DGP Haryana
10:10pm: Delhi Transport Corporation has suspended bus services to NCR due to incidents of arson
9:45pm: Dera Sacha Sauda followers tried creating mischief, case has been registered. We have CCTV footage, probe underway: Madhur Verma of Delhi Police
9:32pm: No major incident took place in Delhi today, 5 arrested for involvement in small incidents. Will keep close watch tomorrow also: Delhi Police
# Vehicles burnt, media OB vans torched; action will be taken against those who took law in their hands. Haryana Government had made complete arrangements; the mob was really huge: CM Manohar Lal
# Taking preventive measures, Chandigarh Police detains 81 people: Chandigarh DGP Tejinder Singh Luthra
9pm: The instances of violence today are deeply distressing. I strongly condemn the violence & urge everyone to maintain peace. The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with the NSA & Home Secretary. Urged officials to work round the clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance that is required: PM Narendra Modi
Violence and damage to public property after court verdict is highly condemnable; appeal to all citizens to maintain peace #PresidentKovind— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) August 25, 2017
# Sonia Gandhi expresses grave concern over violence in parts of Haryana and appealed for peace. In a statement here, the Congress president said that several people including children had died in the violence, and there was widespread destruction of public property and senseless attacks on the media. Sonia also spoke to Punjab CM Amarinder Singh and asked the government of Haryana and the Chandigarh administration to ensure the safety of all citizens.
08:00pm- All schools to remain shut in Ghaziabad on Saturday in view of Ram Rahim verdict: District Magistrate
07:50pm- Curfew imposed in Punjab's Sangrur and Moga districts. Heavy security in place in Bathinda; Rapid Action force also deployed.
07:40pm- High level meeting called at HM's residenceat 11 AM tomorrow. Home Secretary and other senior officials will also be present: MHA sources
07:25pm- Violence, damage to public property after court verdict is condemnable; appeal citizens to maintain peace, tweets President Kovind
07:20pm- Officials say 28 dead, 250 injured in Panchkula violence in Haryana, reports PTI
07:19pm- Almost 250 trains cancelled. All trains going towards Rohtak cancelled for tomorrow: Neeraj Sharma, CPRO, Northern Railway
07:05pm- Protesters identified. We have video footage and strict action will be taken against them. Most of the protesters ousted from city: Ram Niwas, Addl. Chief Secretary to Haryana govt
07:00pm- Dera Sacha Sauda describes as "unjust" verdict against Gurmeet Ram Rahim, says it would appeal against it.
06:58pm- Delhi Metro stations alerted. Vigil intensified at stations along UP, Haryana borders. I have alerted all officers posted at Delhi Metro stations: CISF DG O P Singh
06:55pm- Punjab government has asked Central government for more security forces in view of violence at different places.
06:44pm- There are no gatherings anywhere at present. Situation is under control after few incidents. Three miscreants have been arrested, patrolling is being done in different areas: Madhur Verma, Delhi Police PRO
06:40pm- Section 144 imposed in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Shamli in view of violent protests in Punjab and Haryana. Section 144 imposed in Noida as well.
06:34pm- Over 1,000 Dera Sacha Sauda followers have been detains in Panchkula.
06:28pm- Those found guilty of taking law in their hands will be dealt with severely. I appeal to all not fall for any runmours: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
06:25pm- Dera Sacha Sauda chief presently at Rohtak's Police Training College in Sunaria; was brought here in a helicopter
06:15pm- Death toll in Panchkula violence rises to 17, 200 people injured
06:01pm 12 dead, at least 100 injured in violent protests in Panchkula
05:57: Punjab and Haryana High Court says all properties of Dera chief to be attached. Loss due to violence following his conviction to be recovered
05:51pm- Home Minister Rajnath Singh speaks to chief ministers of Haryana, Punjab, Rajasthan and Delhi; assures of assistance
05:50pm- Dera head Ram Rahim arrives at Rohtak jail. He was brought in by a helicopter
05:48pm- The Haryana government officially confirms the number of deaths in Panchkula at 12
05:45pm- Three incidents of arson reported from Delhi NCR
05:41pm- All properties of Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh to be attached, says Punjab and Haryana High Court
05:37pm- Bus set ablaze near Babu Jagjivan Ram Memorial Hospital in Delhi
05:35pm- Security tightened at railway stations in Delhi post rape conviction of Dera chief: Northern Railway spokesperson Neeraj Sharma
05:30pm- Death count in violence following Ram Rahim's convinction rises to 10 now
05:15pm- DTC bus, train set ablaze in Delhi's Shahadara and Anand Vihar Railway Station
05:10pm- At least 70 people injured in violent protests in Panchkula, admitted in Sector 6 General Hospital in Haryana
05:05pm- Six Army columns deployed in Panchkula post conviction of Dera Chief Ram Rahim Singh.
05pm- Just briefed Rajnath Singh ji about situation in Punjab. Keeping a close watch. Would not allow anyone to disturb peace in Punjab: Punjab CM.
4:55pm: Reports saying 5 people have been killed in violence in Haryana.
04:50pm- The hospitals in Panchkula are flooded with people who were injured in the violence.
04:45pm- Home Minister Rajnath Singh calls both Punjab and Haryana Chief Ministers.
04:35pm- Alert sounded in adjoining districts to ensure no spillover of trouble in UP through strict check on borders - ADG Law & Order
04:30 pm- Reports claim three people have been killed in violence by Dera sect followers in Haryana
04:25pm- Administrative machinery geared up in Western Uttar Pradesh - Anand Kumar, ADG Law and Order
04:20pm- Heavy force deployment in Sirsa as crowds turn violent, Rapid Action Force also reaches Haryana
04:15pm- Security alert on Delhi borders after Ram Rahim is found guilty of rape
04:10pm- Curfew imposed in Bathinda, Sangrur, Patiala, Panchkula after reports of violence
04:00pm- More than 50 incidents of rioting across Haryana: Reports.
03:50pm- Violence breaks out, 10 injured; mediapersons attacked in Panchkula.
03:40pm- Malout Railway Station & petrol pump set on fire by protesters in Punjab post Ram Rahim Verdict, similar incidents also reported in Bathinda
03:30pm- ANI reporters witness: Tear Gas & lathicharge in Sector 5 Panchkula as crowds turn violent, Live bullets fired in the air to disperse crowds
03:20pm- I appeal to all Punjabis to maintain peace & harmony in state. Won't allow anyone to disturb peace & tranquility: Punjab CM
03:10pm- Police fire tear gas shells on Dera protesters in Panchkula Haryana
03: 10pm- Haryana: Media vans attacked in Panchkula Ram Rahim Verdict
03:08pm- Ram Rahim taken into custody. Power supply disconnected in many cities of Haryana
03:05pm- Quantum of sentence to be pronounced on August 28
03:00pm- The Special CBI court on Friday convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh of rape charges.
02:50pm- Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh is reading the order, Dera chief is standing in the court with folded hands
02:30pm- 10 lawyers are accompanying Dera chief in Panchkula CBI court.
02:25pm- Whatever is verdict, we will implement it. We are ready to deal with any circumstances,security arrangements are in place: Haryana CM
02:22pm- Haryana CM ML Khattar appeals to Dera followers to maintain peace
02:20pm- Dera chief reaches Panchkula CBI court, proceedings begin; decision in rape case anytime soon
02:00pm- Security forces in large numbers deployed outside the CBI court in Panchkula. Only two vehicles will be allowed entry inside the court premises.
01:30pm- Dera chief will be first taken to a guesthouse in Panchkula once he arrives in the city. After that, he will be produced in the Special CBI court.
01:10pm - Dera Sacha Sauda chief to reach Panchkula shortly, special CBI court likely to pronounce verdict at 2:30pm
12.40pm- Act against political and religious leaders if they issue any inflammatory statements, says High Court
12.35pm- Punjab and Haryana High Court directs officers of Haryana dealing with Dera situation to use force or weapon as per need. High court orders that no leader -- social, political or religious -- will issue any provocative statement.
11:55am- Dera chief comes out of Kaithal ashram, leaves for CBI court in Panchkula
11:50am- Former Haryana CM B S Hooda asks people to maintain peace in the state.
11:25am- Dera followers clash with police at National Highway 1 in Ambala. Thousands of Dera followers, assembled at the highway, got agitated after Police tried to remove them from the road.
11.15am- Ram Rahim stops over at Kaithal, media persons not allowed to meet the Dera chief
10:50am- Dera chief will come straight to court. He has left Sirsa and is in police protection. 38 additional companies of paramilitary forces have been called in since last night. Army is on standby. Only two cars from Ram Rahim’s convoy will be allowed to enter Panchkula: Haryana DGP BS Sandhu to media persons
10:45am- Dera chief stops over at Narwana for a while after three vehicles in his cavalcade collide with each other
10:30am- Ahead of CBI court's verdict on Ram Rahim rape case, state governments of Punjab and Haryana send preliminary reports to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on deployment of security forces
09:12am- Ram Rahim travelling to Panchkula by road
09:10am- Dera chief leaves for Panchkula, CBI court likely to pronounce judgment at 2:30pm
08:33am- Ram Rahim to reach Panchkula by road
07:35am- Police carry out flag march in Sirsa ahead of the court verdict in Ram Rahim rape case
07:00am- Special CBI court expected to deliver its verdict at around 2:30pm
05:30am- Dera followers refuse to leave the city despite appeal in this regard by Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
03:00am- Chandigah Police tonight warns Dera followers of stern action if they try to enter the city.
02:00am- Army deployed in Panchkula and Sirsa in view of massive gathering of Dera followers ahead of CBI court's verdict
00:15am- “I have to go to the court for hearing the verdict and I will go to Panchkula. We should all abide by law and maintain peace and calm,”adds Dera chief
00:10am- In a video message, Gurmeet Ram Rahim asks his followers, assembled in Panchkula, to return to their homes.
Click here to know the series of events happened on Wednesday