Panchkula DCP’s “defective prohibitive order” allowed for the accumulation of multitudes: the Haryana government

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Dera Sacha Sauda sect members hold sticks and stones as they go on a rampage near a court in Panchkula, India, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017. Deadly riots have broken out in the northern city after a court convicted the sect's guru of raping two of his followers. Mobs also attacked journalists and set fire to government buildings and railway stations. Photo by PRITAM THAKUR

PANCHKULA / SIRSA: Haryana’s government suspended Panchkula’s DCP on Saturday because of Friday’s violence that erupted after the conviction of the god Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The situation in the state remained tense but under control. On Friday, the state witnessed unprecedented violence following the conviction of Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a rape case.

The death toll in the violence and the fire caused by the frenzied followers of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the head of Dera Sacha Sauda, ​​rose to 32 today with two more deaths reported by Sirsa’s civilian government.

“Two more deaths have occurred today, the death toll has increased to four,” said an official of the hospital’s control room at Sirsa. Panchkula, a suburb of Chandigarh and the epicenter of violence, accounted for 28 deaths.

The army, for its part, said that it has no immediate plan to enter the Dera Sacha Sauda sect in Sirsa and that it is focusing on maintaining law and order, reacting to reports that it had entered the facilities.

Baldev Raj Mahajan, General Counsel of Haryana, presented to the High Court of Punjab and Haryana that “thirty-two victims have occurred in the state of Haryana, of which 28 are in Panchkula.” The Union Home Ministry early in the day said the Death Piece was 31.

“It has been noted that up to twenty-eight bodies (in Panchkula) have been identified, the rest have so far not been identified. Up to 524 people have been detained in Panchkula, 24 vehicles have been seized, five pistols with 79 assaults, 2 rifles with 52 rounds and also recovered iron bars, dandas, hockey sticks and ten gasoline pumps.

“There were eight FIRs registered in Panchkula, details of FIRs registered elsewhere would be furnished,” Mahajan told the court during a special hearing.

The Haryana government alleged that a “defective” order by the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in Panchkula allowed the people to accumulate in the district, since nothing was done to control the violence of the followers of Dera.

“Yes, there was a lapse and that is why we suspended DCP Panchkula,” said Haryana Secretary General Ram Niwas, adding that the ban order issued by the officer only prohibited carrying weapons and not a meeting of five or more Persons .

An official order said today that IPS officer Ashok Kumar, DCP Panchkula, has been suspended with immediate effect.

The army, along with police and paramilitary forces, have installed barricades at the entry points of the Dera facility in Sirsa, where tens of thousands of Dera’s followers, including women and children,

“There is no plan so far to enter Dera’s headquarters here. We are focusing on maintaining law and order today,” said Command General (GOC), 33 Armored Division, Major General Rajpal Punishes the reporters in Sirsa, appeals in loudspeakers to the followers of Dera so that they leave the complex.

Sirsa’s (Param) sub-divisional magistrate, Paramjit Singh Chahal, said the army has not received any orders so far to enter Dera Sacha Sauda’s headquarters.

“There is still no order for the Army to enter the campus, they are only ensuring compliance with the curfew in the area,” Chahal said.

“According to the Panchkula Control Room in Haryana, the situation in Panchkula and Sirsa is very tense but under control,” a Union ministry spokesman in Delhi said.

Interior Minister Rajnath Singh chaired a high-level meeting in Delhi to review the security situation in the country, in particular Haryana, and was told that the situation in the state was under control.

Emerging from the high-level meeting, Interior Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi said the Haryana Police General Director had assured the central government that the situation was now under control.

“Haryana, Punjab and Delhi have not seen many incidents today, Panchkula and Sirsa had a situation yesterday, but now the situation has normalized,” he told reporters in Delhi.

A senior police official told Sirsa that the situation of law and order is under control, as there have been no reports of violence since last night.