Sticks, rods and material to make petrol bombs have been found at many Dera centres.
In an attempt to prevent a repeat of the violence that burnt Panchkula following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, around a hundred "items", including lathis
, were found buried in the ground at a congregation centre of Dera in Haryana's Sonepat district.
The state police have cracked down on the Dera's congregation centres on suspicion that the followers of Ram Rahim could be storing petrol, diesel and weapons there. The conviction of the Dera chief had on Friday sent thousands of angry protesters rioting in the streets. He will be sentenced today by CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh.
Rohtak SP Pankaj Nain said a five-layer security ring has been thrown around the Sunaria jail in Rohtak and no incident of violence has been reported yet. The Army is on standby, he said. The hearing on the sentencing is on inside the jail premises.
"During a police search operation, several items, including sticks, were seized from the fields near Dera Sacha Sauda congregation centres in Bahalgarh," IG (Rohtak range) Navdeep Singh Virk told reporters outside the Sunaria jail.
He added that the police have made elaborate security arrangements and put some persons under preventive detention, he said.
Sonepat's Additional Superintendent of Police DK Bhardwaj said the lathis were found buried 2.5 feet underground. The police had to dig up the piece of land to take them out, he said.
When Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was being taken to a court on Panchkula on Friday for the verdict in the rape case , his cavalcade of about 200 vehicles that had accompanied him had a fire engine among them. The Haryana police said there could be two compartments in it that contained petrol. Forensic tests are on. From other cars, the police had seized rifles, pistols and narcotics.
Sticks, rods and material to make petrol bombs have also been recovered from the premises of other centres of Dera Saccha Sauda across Punjab and Haryana. Around 130 such campuses of the sect - referred to as Naam Charcha Ghars
- have been sanitised by the police in the two states. Some of these centres have also been sealed.