Railway, bus services resume after Dera violence; followers leave Sirsa

Chandigarh: The rail services from Delhi to Katra via Ambala have been resumed and an approval has been granted to start bus services to certain places in Haryana, DGP B S Sandhu said on Saturday.

“Peace is prevailing in Haryana, 24 hours after violence broke out in Panchkula over the conviction of Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by a CBI court in a 2002 rape case,” he said at a press conference in Panchkula.

He said about 3,000 to 4,000 persons in the Dera Sacha Sauda centre in Sirsa are gradually leaving the place, adding no untoward incident has been reported during this movement.

The Haryana DGP said the police had made all necessary security and other arrangements for August 28, when the special CBI court will pronounce the quantum of sentence in the rape case against the Dera chief.

“No one would be allowed to go near the Sunaria jail at Rohtak on that day,” he said.

Sandhu said 34 cases had been registered, including six in Panchkula, four in Sirsa, 13 in Kaithal, three in Bhiwani, four in Karnal, one in Fatehabad, two in Ambala and one in Panipat in connection with yesterday’s arson and violence.

“As many as 552 persons have been arrested and further investigation is underway. If more people are found guilty during investigation, action would be taken against them,” he said.

The officer said 36 people were killed in Panchkula during the violence. Postmortem examination of these people is being conducted. As many as six persons were killed in Sirsa alone. 19 people have been identified that include seven from Punjab, he said.

Sandhu said 269 persons were injured, including 47 police personnel in the violence.

As many as 18 government and private properties were damaged, including eight in Panchkula, four in Sirsa, one in Kaithal, three in Bhiwani and two in Fatehabad. As many as 37 vehicles, including five government vehicles, were damaged, the officer said at the media briefing.

The DGP said the process to sanitise Dera Sacha Sauda, Sirsa was underway.

Replying to a question, he said the BJP-led Haryana government had requisitioned 30 more companies of paramilitary forces, bringing the total number of such forces presently deployed in the state to 131.