- Riots after spiritual guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh convicted of rape
- Despite warnings of violence, 1.5 lakh followers allowed to gather
- They attacked cops, media, cars in Panchkula where verdict was given
The "lapses have been identified and we are taking appropriate steps". "This should not have happened," he said.
Ram Rahim, 50, was declared guilty on Friday afternoon of raping two women followers in 2002. In the last few days, tens of thousands of his followers poured into the town to Panchkula, just 11 km from Chandigarh, to await the verdict.
The Chief Minister did not answer directly when reporters asked him how nearly 1.5 lakh members of Ram Rahim's Dera Sacha Sauda sect were allowed to enter the city with ease, despite the police and administration claiming elaborate arrangements to ensure otherwise.
It was glaringly clear that Panchkula was turning into a zone that could easily erupt in riots. Thousands of paramilitary troops and anti-riot police were brought into the town. But Dera members kept gushing in, often walking the last few km into the town after bus and train services were curtailed. The Punjab and Haryana High Court warned on Thursday that Mr Khattar's government had failed to maintain law and order by allowing such a large congregation of Ram Rahim's "premis" as they call themselves. It proved to be tragically true.
Before that, in 2014, six people died after a stand-off between supporters of controversial sect leader Rampal and security forces in Hisar district.
Mr Khattar, like other BJP chief ministers, was chosen to head Haryana by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and party chief Amit Shah. The PM has tweeted his concern about Friday's violence.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)
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