Section 144 has been imposed in Punjab ahead of the final verdict of CBI over the 14 yr-old rape case against Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Chandigarh: The Punjab government has beefed up security and imposed Section 144 in the state in the wake of the verdict in a 14 year-old rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
In a tweet, Gurmeet confirmed that he will appear in court on Friday for hearing in the case.
High alert has been sounded in Ludhiana and ACP G Singh appealed to the public to maintain peace. He said strict action will be taken against those who try to create trouble.
Buses will not ply from depots in Bathinda, Budhlada, Sangrur and Barnala on Thursday and Friday.
Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh's office has also issued a statement, mentioning that a complete ban has been issued on carrying of firearms until the situation normalises.
The chief minister has also ordered withdrawal of 1,000 police personnel from VVIP security for deployment on field to strengthen the security blanket in the state.
The Centre has sanctioned an additional 10 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the state.
A number of followers of Gurmeet have started congregating at Panchkula where a CBI court will pronounce its final verdict in the case on Friday.
Followers of Gurmeet said, "Our Guru can never do wrong, we support him. We will remain calm until the verdict comes."
Other follower extended his support to Gurmeet and said, "We are with Guru Ji, we have full faith in God that judgement will be in our favor."
Security forces in Haryana and Punjab have been taking out flag marches at many sensitive places. Haryana government has already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure.
Police have set up barricades at several places in Punjab and Haryana, besides their common capital Chandigarh, where security has been further tightened ahead of the court verdict.
Heavy police force has also been deployed in Bathinda, which shares its border with Sirsa, where the Dera headquarters in Haryana.
The Dera head has had a run-in in the past with Sikh radicals, who had accused him of having allegedly dressed-up as the tenth Sikh Guru Gobind Singh in 2007, following which Punjab had remained on boil for many days.
The Home department of the Union Territory, Chandigarh, has declared the cricket stadium in Sector-16, which was associated with early training days of legendary Kapil Dev and has hosted several domestic and international matches, as 'temporary jail' on August 25.
Officials have said the 'temporary jail' can be used to confine people suspected of creating law and order problem on Friday.
The CBI had registered the sexual exploitation case against Gurmeet in 2002 on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged rape of two 'Sadhvis' (female followers) by him.