Dera violence: Haryana knew there would be trouble

Dera violence: Haryana knew there would be trouble

Dera violence: Haryana knew there would be trouble

The Haryana Police, using  phone-call intercepts,  had become  aware, well in advance, that Dera followers would resort to large-scale violence in  the circumstance of sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh getting convicted by the CBI court in the rape cases.

The state police had intercepted several calls ahead of August 25, the date of the verdict.

These calls clearly established the ill-designs of the Dera Sacha Sauda to incite and escalate violence if their chief was convicted.

Despite all the information and wherewithal at the disposal of the government, widespread arson and violence was witnessed in Panchkula and Sirsa  - the epicentres of the violence  - that consumed 40 lives and left over 220 injured in just a few hours on the day of the judgement.

The voluminous transcripts of calls made between the Dera leaders and their followers ahead of the verdict are now a part of the elaborate chargesheet presented by the special investigating team in the court.

Call intercepts reveal that sect leaders and followers talked about procuring weapons, sticks, kerosene and acid.  Issues of distributing these and modes of transport were elaborately discussed.

One of the sect followers from Fatehabad was heard talking to the district head of the sect informing that she had received a message to equip followers headed for Panchkula with kerosene, acid and sticks.

The police maintain that they knew what was transpiring  and  that all preventive measures had been taken to thwart the violence.

The call intercepts also bring to fore the pressure that the Dera attempted to exert on the BJP government in  the state for help ahead of the case.

Sect leaders could be heard giving instructions to followers to meet MLAs and cabinet ministers in the Manohar Lal Khattar government to garner support  for the Dera chief in the case.

Meanwhile, a Panchkula court has dropped sedition charges against 53 Dera followers who were accused of the charge. The sedition charges were dropped for want of prosecution sanction.