CHANDIGARH: As many as 22 columns of army were deployed on Thursday night to maintain law and order after scores of Dera Sacha Sauda followers thronged Chandigarh and nearby areas despite prohibitory orders. The orders were imposed ahead of Friday’s verdict on rape-accused Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Director general of police Haryana B S Sandhu said, “We requested the army to maintain law and order, after which it sent 22 columns in the state. Twenty of these columns will be deployed at Panchkula and two at Sisra by Thursday night,’’ he said.
The decision came after the High Court rapped the state government for its failure to stop assembly of such a large number of followers despite imposition of the prohibitory orders. The HC asked the police to remove the followers from gathering here and appraise it about the action taken.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also authorized the DGP to impose curfew if necessary. Singh said the Western Command of the army had been put on standby to tackle any eventuality arising out of the judgement, expected on Friday afternoon.
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