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30 killed in Haryana after Baba Ram Rahim verdict: Photos, videos of violence

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Chandigarh: In one of the worst violence of this kind, at least 30 people were killed on Friday as security forces fired at rampaging mobs in Panchkula town in Haryana. The court had held a self styled god-man, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, as guilty of raping a woman.

While the conviction was expected given the proofs against Ram Rahim, who has tried everything under the sun to remain in limelight, going to the extent of funding and appearing movies showing him and his king-size life, the lax security was perplexing.

Why the BJP government in the state, despite having knowledge of the Dera supporters in the past, didn’t take adequate measures to deter the large number of supporters from reaching Panchkula in the first place. The way the mob attacked and police was seen retreating under pressure from Dera supporters has shocked common people.


The loss of lives of 30 people within a matter of hours is inexplicable. Is the life of people so cheep?

Following the rioting in different parts of Haryana and Punjab, curfew was imposed in towns in 10 Punjab districts, including Mansa, Bathinda, Patiala, Fazilka, Ferozepore, Faridkot, Malout, Sangrur and Barnala following the violence. Haryana’s Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, where a CBI court gave a guilty ruling against the Dera chief, resembled a war zone. Besides Panchkula, curfew was imposed in Sirsa, headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda where one person died in the violence, and Kaithal towns.

Even the deployment of the small contingent of army didn’t deter protesters from attacking public properties, buses, trains, railway stations and other public places. The army was deployed in different parts of Haryana and Punjab, including Panchkula, Sirsa, Mansa and Muktsar — the last two major centres of the sect.

The rioting began instantly when CBI special judge Jagdeep Singh held the controversial sect leader, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002. The sentence will be pronounced on Monday. As the 15-year-long court battle ended, the sect chief was taken into custody. Soldiers deployed earlier rushed to the court and took charge. After a quick medical examination, the so-called godman was flown to a jail in Rohtak in Haryana. Ram Rahim Singh stood in the court with his hands folded in prayer and his eyes closed when the judge started reading the verdict. The tens of thousands of supporters massed outside and who initially thought he would be let off first became gloomy — then furious.

The violence, at one time looked like spreading to Delhi, but was brought under control. Nonetheless two train coaches and two buses were set on fire.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said: “Our forces are prepared to check any violence.” He said the Army was called out in 10 places. Soldiers did a flag march in Zirakpur and Banur towns, located close to Panchkula.

Haryana chief minister Khattar admitted that there had been lapses in managing the law and order situation. Responding to a question whether there was a lapse in preparations by the state government ahead of the judgment, the Haryana Chief Minister agreed and said, “We are identifying the lapses.”

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