A day after violent protests by followers of godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim swept across Punjab and Haryana, Home Minister Rajnath Singh again reviewed the security situation. The clashes between the followers and the security forces killed 32 people and injured more than 250 people. Clashes spilled over to certain areas in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi.
Top officials, including Union Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Intelligence Bureau chief Rajiv Jain, gave detailed presentations about the situation in Haryana, Punjab, Chandigarh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. Sources also said the Home Minister was apprised about the steps taken to maintain law and order and restore peace.
National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and chiefs of paramilitary personnel were also present at the meeting.
While Panchkula and Sirsa were “very tense”, the situation in the rest of the state was “tense but under control”, the minister is believed to have been told.
Curfew continues to be clamped in several places in Haryana and Punjab while prohibitory orders were imposed in nine districts of Uttar Pradesh, two districts of Delhi and one district in Rajasthan following massive violence, an official said.
Violence erupted after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim was convicted for rape by a special CBI court in Panchkula.
Soon after the verdict was out, Dera supporters resorted to large scale violence across Punjab and Haryana, especially in Panckula and Sirsa in Haryana. Thousands of the supporters to had gathered ahead of the verdict clashed with police personnel, paramilitary forces and the Army.
Situation went out of control as the protesters torched media vehicles, burnt down two empty bogies of a train. Clashes soon spread to parts of UP, Delhi and Rajasthan.
At least 20,000 paramilitary personnel were deployed in Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh to assist the local police to deal with the law and order situation.
(With inputs from PTI)