Thousands Evacuated From Ram Rahim's Base, Sentencing Today: 10 Points

The sentencing of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted in rape case, is on Monday. Security personnel are keeping a strict watch on the Dera Sacha Sauda.

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Thousands Evacuated From Ram Rahim's Base, Sentencing Today: 10 Points

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Ram Rahim rape case: Police, army are in Sirsa outside the Dera Sacha Sauda campus.

Sirsa, Haryana:  The estimated 30,000 followers of self-styled guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who were inside the headquarters of his sect, the Dera Sacha Sauda in Haryana's Sirsa, started moving out on Sunday evening. Around 6 pm, the security forces brought 100 state transport buses to ferry them out, resolving the stalemate that had been in continuing since Ram Rahim's conviction in a rape case on Friday. The Haryana police said they have made sufficient security arrangements to ensure peace today in Rohtak and Sirsa. The Dera chief will be sentenced at 2 pm inside a jail in Rohtak, where he is lodged.
Here are the top 10 updates in this big story:
  1. The followers of Ram Rahim had been refusing to vacate headquarters at Sirsa, a town 250 km from Chandigarh, despite repeated requests from the administration. The army, which had placed a tight security ring around the campus, said last morning that communication with them was on. Many of them had been trickling out over the last two days. Still, an estimated 30,000 followers were inside the 700-acre campus.
  2. A senior officer of the Haryana police said sufficient security cover has been given at Rohtak, where Ram Rahim will be sentenced today. "Our top priority is to ensure tight vigil during sentencing... Security personnel have been given a free hand to react according to the need of the situation," he said.
  3. Rohtak has been placed under multi-layered security; 28 companies of paramilitary troops have been stationed in the town and Dera followers are not being allowed to enter the district. The Punjab and Haryana High Court ordered on Friday that the trial court judge, Jagdeep Singh, be flown to Rohtak.
  4. In Delhi, the police issued an advisory to not believe in rumours. Schools will be open and there are no traffic restrictions, authorities said. However, most schools in Ghaziabad and Noida are likely to be closed.
  5. A case of sedition has been filed against two of the key leaders of Dera following news reports that said they were instigating crowds in Panchkula on Friday, said senior Haryana police officer BS Sandhu.
  6. The police said a Special Investigation Team will be asked to investigate Friday's violence in view of the weapons found during searches. Security forces recovered sticks, rods and material to make petrol bombs In searches at more than 130 Dera campuses in Haryana and Punjab. Near the Sirsa campus, two AK-47s and a pistol were found in a car.
  7. After a Panchkula court found Ram Rahim guilty of raping two women followers on Friday, his supporters erupted in violence that left 38 people dead. More than 900 people were arrested in Haryana since. Last morning, a media van was attacked by suspected followers of Ram Rahim, several kilometers from the Dera headquarters in Sirsa.
  8. More than a lakh of Ram Rahim's followers had congregated in Panchkula ahead of the court's Friday verdict. The High Court in a severe reprimand, told the Haryana government, "You let Panchkula burn for your political motives." It also said properties of the sect will be seized to pay for the damages.
  9. In his monthly radio address Mann ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said, "Violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is faith based on community, political ideology, individual or tradition". He promised that action will be taken against anyone who took the law in their own hands.
  10. Five guards from Ram Rahim's Z-Plus security detail have been arrested after they tried to obstruct the policemen who were taking Ram Rahim to jail. The bodyguards wanted to take the convicted man to jail in his car," Haryana police chief BS Sandhu said. They have been accused of attempt to murder, sedition, helping a criminal escape and under the Arms Act.

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