Section 144 has been imposed, and all schools and colleges in Punjab have been ordered to remain shut on August 25, in view of the upcoming court verdict in the Ram Rahim rape case.
A complete ban has been issued on carrying of firearms, with orders to shut down the private gun houses selling arms and ammunition to license holders, till the situation normalises, an official spokesperson disclosed after a meeting convened by the Chief Minister on Wednesday evening to review the state’s security arrangements with the police top brass ahead of the judgement.
The Chief Minister has also ordered withdrawal of 1000 police personnel from VVIP security for deployment on field duty to strengthen the security blanket in the state, an official spokesperson said after the meeting, attended, among others, by DGP Suresh Arora, DGP Intelligence Dinkar Gupta and DGP Law & Order HS Dhillon.
The Centre has sanctioned an additional 10 companies of paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the state. A total of 85 central companies along with thousands of policemen on the ground will maintain a tight vigil, especially in the vulnerable areas of Moga, Bathinda, Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala and Ludhiana, said the spokesperson.
Amarinder has asked the police officials to fan out across the sensitive districts to ensure that there is no disruption of the law and order in the state in view of the impending order. Security has been tightened along the state’s borders with Haryana, as well as the connecting roads to prevent any incursions, said the spokesperson.
Captain has ordered senior officers to personally monitor the situation on the ground, with the DGP visiting the various sensitive districts to review the preparations ahead of the verdict in the sensitive case. He also ordered the DGP intelligence to ensure strict monitoring of social media and effectively thwart any attempts by rumour mongers to spread unrest.
Amid intelligence reports of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, of which Ram Rahim is the chief, stocking petrol and arms at the Dera’s Naam Charcha Ghars, the Chief Minister has directed the police to crack down on elements trying to disrupt Punjab’s peace and tranquility.
The police have seized five walkie-talkies from suspected Dera followers and are moving to identify the various locations suspected to be housing dangerous weapons of any kind. A close watch is being maintained at all such places and the police are ready to move in at the slightest sign of trouble, said the spokesperson.
The Chief Minister has meanwhile once again appealed to the people to maintain peace at all costs and not to get provoked by elements trying to disrupt the state’s law and order. The court’s verdict should be accepted by one and all, he stressed.