The rioters attacked private as well as government buildings, set vehicles on fire in Panchkula.
Fearing an encore of the violence in Haryana's Panchkula that unfolded after the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case on Friday, a village close to the sprawling Dera headquarters in Sirsa has prepared itself against any attack on the day when the 'Guru of Bling' will be sentenced.
The Dera chief has been kept in Rohtak's Sunaria jail. CBI Judge Jagdeep Singh is on his way to Rohtak for the sentencing.
The verdict by a special CBI court in Panckhkula led to widespread violence that killed at least 38 and left over 200 injured. The rioters attacked several private as well as government buildings, set afire vehicles and some of them even tried to enter homes in the area.
About 250 km from the severely affected city, six people were killed in Sirsa on the verdict day. Now, the villagers in Sirsa's Shahpur Beghu seem ready to handle angry followers of the self-styled godman with a stockpile of stones, sticks, bricks and iron rods.
The village has a population of about 9,000 and most of them don't support the sect chief. Their village is just 500 metres away from the Dera, and even though the police have barricaded the area and made sufficient security arrangements to ensure peace, many villages fear for the safety of their families.
"Before the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim on August 25, we had started collecting iron roads, stones, bricks and wooden sticks on rooftops to deal with violent Dera followers if they entered our village. But thankfully, they did not do so," Santosh Soni, a villager said.
She added that today when Ram Rahim will be sentenced in Rohtak, they are not taking any chances.
"We are fully prepared...in case we have to deal with enraged followers," said Amit Singh, another villager.
Villagers won't hesitate to act if violent Dera followers try to enter the village and damage their property, he warned.
Security has been tightened and curfew continues in Sirsa. Thousands of Dera followers have left the sect headquarters and many more are leaving today. The Haryana Roadways is providing bus facility to those supporters willing to leave the area. Police said the situation has remained under control in and around Dera headquarters.