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Panchkula, Sirsa limp back to normal;

curfew relaxed in Punjab till noon


Sirsa/Panchkula - There were no reports of violence since last night in Panchkula and Sirsa, which houses the Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, police said, asserting that the situation was under control in the state.
However, Section 144 and heavy security has been deployed in both the places.  Meanwhile, in Punjab, curfew has been relaxed at all places, except Patiala, till 12 noon and may be extended till 2pm if all goes well in the state.
Precautionary measured are being taken in Pataila as most Dera followers will cross the place while returning to Sirsa.
Sources say that Dera chief will be lodged in a special cell and get an assistant to stay with him.  
At least 30 people were killed and 250 injured in widespread violence, arson and police firing in Haryana yesterday, triggered by the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a sexual exploitation case.
While 28 people were killed in Panchkula, the epicentre of the violence, two died in Sirsa.
"The law and order situation is under control as there has been no report of violence since last night," said a senior police officer.
Last night, Army carried out a flag march in the area to maintain law and order. The normal life has come to a standstill due to curfew-like restrictions imposed by the authorities to prevent any untoward incident.
Two companies of the Army and 10 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed. Police personnel have asked locals to stay indoors.
In Panchkula yesterday, CBI judge Jagdeep Singh held Ram Rahim, the 50-year-old flamboyant chief of the dera, guilty of rape in a case that was registered on the basis of an anonymous written complaint in 2002 that he had sexually exploited two female followers.
On the basis of the report, a case was registered against him in December 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The quantum of sentence against Ram Rahim, who enjoys 'Z' category security, will be pronounced on August 28.

 

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