After the special CBI Court on Friday held Baba Ram Rahim Singh Insaan guilty of charges in a 15-year-old rape case, stone pelting and clashes between police and Dera Sacha Sauda supporters were reported in several parts of Punjab and Haryana. The court will pronounce the sentence on August 28.
As Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim's followers run amok in Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, the Punjab and Haryana high court has asked the government to seize entire property of Dera to compensate the damages done by its followers. The High Court has asked a list of its properties from the Dera. It has been reported that 20 Army columns are on its way to lay siege on Ram Rahim's Dera in Sirsa.
The 50-year-old self-styled godman and Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insaan has been flown to Rohtak jail from the Western Command Headquarters of the Indian Army located in Chandimandir Cantonment area of Panchkula.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is taking stock of the situation. The Army has been called on the streets in Panchkula. The supporters of Dera chief had gathered in large numbers before the verdict.
The Army is holding Flag Marches in Panchkula to bring the situation under control as clashes have been reported in Panchkula. There have been reports of some casualties. Police lobbed tear gas shells, used water canons and batons to bring the situation under control.
CBI judge Jagdeep Singh, while holding the 50-year-old Dera chief guilty of rape, said the quantum of sentence will be pronounced on August 28, CBI counsel HPS Verma told reporters outside the court.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was chargesheeted for only in 2007. Ram Rahim began his journey from Sirsa to the CBI court in Panchkula with a convoy of around 182 cars.
To deal with security concerns, Punjab and Haryana have made high security arrangements. 97 paramilitary companies have been deployed acorss the two states. Two army units have been called.
There have been media reports that Ram Rahim's supporters have been stockpiling weapons and petrol bombs. Normal life in many areas in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh has come to a halt.
Here are the Live updates:
08:20 pm: According to hospital officials, the current death toll in Panchkula is 29. About 250 people have been injured.
08:01 pm: Railways say that all trains to Rohtak in Haryana have been cancelled.
07:43 pm: Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has reached Panchkula on orders from Centre.
07:37 pm: Around 1000 people have been taken into police custody in violence-torn Panchkula.
07:35 pm: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj defends Ram Rahim.
07:19 pm: President Ram Nath Kovind has appealed citizens to maintain peace.
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
07:10 pm: Home Minister Rajnath Singh pulls up Haryana CM, seeks detailed report.
07:05 pm: Section 144, which prohibits assembly of five or more people, has been imposed in Gautam Budh Nagar district, also called NOIDA, in Uttar Pradesh.
06:42 pm: Seize properties of Dera Sacha Sauda to recover losses incurred due to violence, says Punjab and Haryana High Court
06:35 pm: HT reports 17 killed; 40 referred to PGIMER, 100 admitted to Panchkula general hospital.
06:27 pm: 200 injured admitted to Panchkula general hospital, according to senior medical officer Vivek Bhadoo; 57 critically injured referred to other hospitals.
06:25 pm: Death toll in the violence has now risen to 25.
06:07 pm: Two buses set ablaze on Mandoli flyover in Delhi's Nand Nagri.
06:00 pm: Meanwhile, Dera Sacha Sauda has said in a statement that verdict will be appealed.
05:55 pm: Punjab and Haryana High court says Dera will have to pay for damages caused. A DTC bus has also been attacked in Delhi
05:47 pm: Toll rises to 13, according to doctors at the Panchkula general hospital. Most of the deaths are reported to be due to bullet injuries.
05:20 pm: Violence has been reported in Delhi. At least 7 incidents of violence have been reported. Two coaches of the Rewa Express have been set ablaze near Anand Vihar Railway Station.
05:00 pm: There have been reports of women being heckled in some area of Panchkula by Dera supporters. Cars plying on roads are on set on fire.
04:46 pm: Ram Rahim being taken to an undisclosed location. The self-styled godman being flown out of Western Command in Panchkula.
04:42 pm: So far there have been 224 incidents of violence in Haryana. 64 instances of violence have been reported from Punjab.
04:41 pm: The death toll of those killed in clashes with police in Panchkula has now risen to ten.
04:30 pm: Chief Minister of Punjab Captain Amrinder Singh has appealed for calm.
04:22 pm: Ram Rahim may be taken to Rohtak or Gurugram jail via chopper.
04:20 pm: Curfew has been imposed in Bathinda, Mansa and Ferozepur districts of Punjab.
04:15 pm: Ram Rahim taken to Western Command Headquarters of the Indian Army located in Chandimandir Cantonment area of Panchkula.
04:10 pm: India Today TV crew has been attacked in Sirsa. Video journalist injured.
04:04 pm: Curfew imposed in Ferozepur. An attack has been reported on Muktsar railway station.
04:00 pm: 3 Dera supporters dead in Panchkula in clashes with police.
03:55 pm: Delhi, NCR has been put on high alert following the verdict.
03:45 pm: Two police vehicles set on fire in Mansa, Punjab.
03:40 pm: India Today's OB van attacked by angry Dera supporters in Panchkula.
03:30 pm: Clashes break out near Holiday Inn Hotel in Panchkula. OB vans of several media channels including Aaj Tak have been attacked.
03:20 pm: Power cut in a few residential areas in Panchkula as precautionary measure.
03:15: pm: Army had moved Ram Rahim Singh out of court premises. Ram Rahim is currently in police custody.
03:10 pm: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has called an emergency meeting to tackle the situation.
03:05 pm: Baba Ram Rahim Singh has been taken into preventive custody by the Indian Army. The Army is also conducting Flag Marches in Panchkula and adjoining areas.
03:00 pm: Dera Sacha Sauda chief found guilty of rape charges by CBI court. Sentence to be announced on August 28.
02:29 pm: Hearing begins in Ram Rahim rape case at Panchkula Court.
02:00 pm: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh arrives in the CBI court complex in Panchkula, enters through the back door.
01:45 pm: According to Indian Railways, over the past five days around 236 trains cancelled causing huge loss to Railways.
01:24 pm: Patiala DC imposes curfew within 1 km radius of Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh's Patiala residence, New Moti Bagh Palace.
01:10 pm: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has said "forces should not hesitate to use weapons, if required," while hearing a PIL on the situation in Panchkula.
01:00 pm: Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's convoy reaches Chandigarh.
12:53 pm: Baba Ram Rahim Singh leaves Kurukshetra dera after a stopover, moves into another vehicle as part of the security drill.
12:44 pm: Punjab and Haryana high court directs FIR against any politician instigating people as dera chief heads for Panchkula court.
12:35 pm: Punjab and Haryana Hhigh court reprimands Haryana government for laxity in dealing with the situation.
12:32 pm: Helicopters deployed for surveillance. Panchkula administration plan to press drone into service for surveillance before court proceedings start.
12:30 pm: Ram Rahim leaves Kaithal after having breakfast. Likely to stop in Kurukshetra next.
12.25 pm: Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed administration to ensure that situation stays in control and said that government should ensure Ram Rahim appears in court.
11:45 am: The DGP said, 38 additional companies of central forces have arrived in Panchkula while Army columns, which arrived in the town early today, "will conduct flag march in Panchkula along with other security forces".
1126 am: Army personnel have taken position around the CBI court complex in Panchkula, even as area close to the complex had been sealed, DGP said.
11:13 am: In Panchkula, Haryana DGP, B S Sandhu said the Dera chief was on his way to the town under police protection. DGP said the cavalcade's size will be cut along the way. However, he did not specify the number of vehicles in the cavalcade.
11:00 am: Schools, colleges and offices are closed in and Panchkula, bus services have been suspended. Mobile internet and data services have been banned in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh for 72 hours.
10:30 am: Ram Rahim enjoys a Z+ security cover provided by the union government. Airport Authority of India has also given Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh the privilege of using reserved lounges at airports in the country.
CASE AGAINST RAM RAHIM SINGH
Back in 2002, a sadhvi from Dera wrote an anonymous letter to then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee saying she was raped by the Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim. Soon after it got reported, the Punjab and Haryana high court took suo motu cognizance of the letter and directed the Central Bureau of India to register a case against the Dera chief. Sadhi who wrote the letter was not the only victim. There were other female followers who were, Sadhvi wrote in the letter, raped by Gurmeet Ram Rahim. After Sadhvi's revelation, the CBI questioned other sadhvis as well where two of them confirmed the allegations against Ram Rahim. Those two Sadhvis later recorded their statement in the CBI court where they again reiterated the charges. The CBI slapped Section 376 and Section 506 of the Indian Penal Code on Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
MOBILE INTERNET DISCONNECTED
The fear of law and order problem has resulted in authorities in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to suspend mobile internet services and SMS facility for the next three days. The only mode of communication services will be voice calls in the region. All internet services (2G, 3G, 4G, CDMA and GPRS) have been blocked. This has been done to ensure that mass gatherings which could lead to violence do not take place.
Both bus and train services have been majorly affected as the Ram Rahim supporters have tense situation, with a threat of complete breakdown of law and order. After a request from authorities, Indian railways has decided to cancel as many as 29 trains on their way to Punjab and Haryana for the next four days from today onward. Twenty-two of these were trains to Punjab, while seven were trains to Haryana. "We had received a request from the Haryana government to cancel trains in the state in view of apprehensions on the law and order front," a Northern Railway spokesperson said. These 29 trains would have made a combined total of 74 trips over the next four days. The cancelled trains include -- Jaipur-Chandigarh Intercity Express, Barmer-Kalka Express, Barmer Haridwar Link Express, Firozpur-Chandigarh Express, Kalka Himalyan Queen.
Here's a complete list of the cancelled trains