Special courtroom in Sunaria jail for Dera chief sentencing

Chandigarh, Aug 27 (PTI) A special courtroom has been set up in the Sunaria Jail in Rohtak, where Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim has been lodged since his rape-conviction, for the pronouncement of the quantum of punishment tomorrow.

Special CBI court judge Jagdeep Singh, who delivered the guilty verdict in the 2002 rape case against the Dera chief on Friday, will be flown in by a special helicopter for the sentencing.

The helicopter will land on the helipad near the jail on the outskirts of the Rohtak city, IG (Rohtak Range), Navdeep Singh Virk said today.

“A special courtroom has been set up on the instructions of the high court within the jail and proceedings will be carried out there, which are expected to be conducted at around 2:30 in the afternoon tomorrow,” he said.

The Dera chief was convicted by the CBI court in Panchkula on Friday in the 15-year-old rape case. After his conviction, his followers went berserk in Panchkula and Sirsa. In the violence and arson that ensued, 38 people lost their lives while over 260 were injured.

The administration has made tight security arrangements before the sentencing.

“We have ensured that there is no crowd build-up in and around Rohtak city or Sunaria Jail. For that, special arrangements have been made. We have been provided forces from neighbouring districts and other units of Haryana police too,” Virk said.

He said 23 companies of paramilitary forces have been provided by the Centre.

“We have sufficient forces and we have deployed them. We are on our toes 24×7 and we are 100 per cent certain that there will be no untoward incident tomorrow,” he said.

Asked if the Army will be deployed, Virk said, “As of now, the Haryana and the district police, assisted by paramilitary forces, are in action. As of now, we have not called in the Army and I dont think we will require their help”.

“However, the Army has been alerted. Army officers conducted a recee of the area (around the jail complex). We have requested them to be on standby if the situation goes out of hands, but that is a mere part of the preparation, and I dont see the situation going out of hand,” the IG said.

Virk also said the “Sunaria jail premises are quite far away from the city and I do not foresee any problem for local people.”

The forces also conducted flag march in Rohtak today, where prohibitory orders under Section 144 are already in place, he added.

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