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  India   All India  27 Aug 2017  Dera violence toll rises to 36; Panchkula, Sirsa tense

Dera violence toll rises to 36; Panchkula, Sirsa tense

Published : Aug 27, 2017, 4:08 am IST
Updated : Aug 27, 2017, 5:05 am IST

About 269 people have been injured, of whom 212 are civilians, officials said.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Photo: AP)
 Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (Photo: AP)

Chandigarh: No new incidents of violence were reported on Saturday, but the death toll in Dera violence, which erupted on Friday morning after a guilty verdict was handed out to Gurmeet Ram Rahim in two rape cases, increased to 36.

About 269 people have been injured, of whom 212 are civilians, officials said.

Haryana police chief B.S. Sandhu said that 552 arrests have been made so far and a probe is on to capture the perpetrators of the violence.

Mr Sandhu also said that 24 vehicles have been impounded and five pistols (79 rounds), two rifles (52 rounds), an AK-47, three petrol bombs, iron rods and hockey sticks recovered.

In Delhi, meanwhile, Union home minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting on Saturday to review the security situation.

Mr Singh was briefed about the steps taken to maintain law and order and restore peace at the meeting that was also attended by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and chiefs of paramilitary.

While Panchkula and Sirsa remain “very tense”, the situation in the rest of the state is “tense but under control”, the minister is understood to have been told.

Police sources said that about 3,000 to 4,000 people are still at the Dera Sacha Sauda ashram in Sirsa and they are being made to vacate gradually. Dera followers have been removed from Panchkula.

As many as 101 companies of paramilitary have been deployed in the state, and six columns of the Army have been deployed in Panchkula, and four in Sirsa.

In Punjab, curfew has been lifted in three districts and relaxed in other areas. District collectors have been authorised to take the decision on enforcing curfew in their respective districts, keeping in mind the situation on the ground, chief minister Amrinder Singh said.

Businesses and online booking services across Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana have been badly hit following the ban on mobile internet services.

Mobile internet services were suspended for 72 hours in the city and two states ahead of the court verdict in the sexual assault case against the Dera Sacha Sauda chief post lunch on Friday.

The order says SMSes, all dongle services provided on mobile networks, except voice calls, are suspended. The Punjab government has extended the internet ban in the state till Tuesday.

As a fallout of violence, the Haryana government sacked deputy advocate general Gurdas Singh Salwara for carrying self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s bag after he was taken into police custody, an official said on Saturday.

Mr Salwara is believed to be a relative of the convicted Sacha Sauda Dera chief. Earlier, the government ordered the suspension of DCP Ashok Kumar, an IPS officer of the 2007 batch.

Tags: dera violence, gurmeet ram rahim, haryana police, haryana government
Location: India, Chandigarh