Preparations complete for Sirsa Dera sanitisation: Police

Large-scale violence broke out in Panchkula after Ram Rahim's conviction in rape cases, leaving at least 35 people dead.
Preparations complete for Sirsa Dera...
Reported by: PTI Chandigarh September 06, 2017 20:32 IST

All necessary arrangements have been made for carrying out "sanitisation" of the sprawling Dera Sacha Sauda sect headquarters at Sirsa, a top Haryana police officer said here, a day after the high court gave permission for the exercise. 

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had appointed retired District and Sessions Judge AKS Pawar as Court Commissioner to oversee the sanitisation process. 

Senior officials of the police and civil administration will be part of the exercise. "The Court Commissioner is expected to reach Sirsa soon," DGP BS Sandhu said. 

The formalities enabling Pawar to oversee the mammoth sanitisation exercise were being completed, official sources said here. DGP Sandhu said "as far as our arrangements are concerned, we are prepared (for sanitisation process)". 

He said that while the sanitisation process will be overseen by the Court Commissioner, Haryana police personnel, paramilitary forces, duty magistrates, executive magistrates and revenue officials will part of the exercise. 

"Anti-sabotage team, dog squad, bomb disposal squad will also be pressed into service to carry out the sanitisation of Dera Sacha Sauda at Sirsa, which is spread over a huge area. The process will be started soon," Sandhu told reporters in Panchkula, near here. 

Notably, the Dera premises in Sirsa is spread over nearly 800 acres, and houses educational institutions, markets, hospital, stadium and houses. 

The police and the Dera management have maintained that licensed weapons have been deposited by most Dera followers at Sirsa with the police authorities. 

Asked if there were still some licence holders who have not deposited their weapons at Sirsa with the police, DGP said, "The number of such persons is very less." 

To another related query, he said, "these persons are missing. We have registered cases against them and started the process to cancel licences of their weapons". 

He voiced confidence that the sanitisation process will be carried out in a "smooth manner" and there was no cause for concern. 

Asked about reports that two names including of a Dera functionary from Panchkula had cropped up for their alleged role in inciting violence there on August 25 after Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted in rape case, DGP said, "We are looking into this and the matter is under investigation. Whatever action is made out as per law against them will be taken." 

The DGP, meanwhile, said that peace prevails in the state and no untoward incident has occurred after August 25. 

The High Court order by a full bench on sanitisation came yesterday after Haryana government filed a plea on Friday seeking permission to hold the exercise under "judicial supervision". 

The sanitisation process will be videographed, Haryana's Advocate General Baldev Raj Mahajan had said earlier. 

A report of the whole process will be submitted to the High Court by the court commissioner, with a copy to be given to the state government. The High Court had earlier taken up a PIL filed by Ravinder Dhull, a Panchkula resident, who had raised concerns over the law and order situation. 

Large-scale violence broke out in Panchkula after the Dera chief's conviction in rape cases, leaving at least 35 people dead. Six others died in incidents of violence in Sirsa. Ram Rahim was later sentenced to 20 years in prison in the rape case. Over 100 Namcharcha Ghars, associated with the Dera, have been sanitised in the state. The sect management had earlier maintained that the state government could carry out a search of its premises any time and it will cooperate with the authorities. 

 
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