Judgement Day for 'Godman' in rape case today

Seventy-five companies of paramilitary forces that the Centre has sanctioned for Punjab to deal with any law and order problem arising out of the verdict are expected to arrive in batches by Sunday evening

A Central Bureau of Investigation court in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, has asked the sect chief to appear in the court on Friday when it will pronounce its judgment.

But tens of thousands of Singh´s supporters were already camped out across the city, where schools and offices were closed as a precaution.

The alleged rape dates back to 1999, when the victim, who was an inmate of the Dera ashram in Sirsa, claims to have been sexually assaulted by Singh.

Till now, only 75 companies of forces have been given the Punjab government to ensure that law and order is maintained in the state.

When asked if Dera followers would resist the move to shift them from here, Sandhu said, "We are capable and prepared to deal with any situation".

Thousands of police officers sealed off multiple northern Indian cities Thursday while a controversial guru stood trial for rape. Also, bus services to Chandigarh have been suspended. Anticipating trouble if the verdict is not in favour of the Dera chief, mobile Internet and data services across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh have been suspended for 72 hours.

A notification in this regard was being issued, he added.


22 trains to Punjab and 7 to Haryana have been cancelled. Haryana government has already clamped prohibitory orders in all its districts as a precautionary measure. But it was only in April 2002 that an anonymous complaint by the victim reached the Punjab and Haryana high court.

In Sector-9, Chandigarh, a joint room control room of both the states would be set up.

Amid intelligence reports of followers of the Dera stocking petrol and arms at the Dera's Naam Charcha Ghars, Amarinder has directed the police to crack down on elements trying to disrupt Punjab's peace and tranquility.

Chandigarh also sealed its borders for the next two days to prevent any mayhem from spilling over.

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 global matches, as "temporary jail" on August 25.

Ahead of the expected verdict on Friday against Dera Sacha Sauda Chief Gurmeet Ram Raheem, on rape charges of two women followers almost 15 years ago, the city of Chnadigarh and Panchkula are in a state of complete standstill.

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