Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh conviction live updates: Home Minister Rajnath Singh has called for an emergency meeting of top officials at his residence in New Delhi to review the security situation. | At least 31 people have died in the clashes with 28 casualties in Panchkula while Sirsa, the headquarters of the dera, reported three casualties.
Army officials enter Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters in Sirsa 

After the CBI court in Panchkula convicted Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case, widespread violence erupted in several parts of Punjab and Haryana. At least 31 people have died in the clashes with 28 casualties in Panchkula while Sirsa, the headquarters of the dera, reported three casualties. 

Violence also spread to Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad with empty buses and train coaches set on fire allegedly by Dera supporters. Section 144 was imposed in several parts of Haryana and Delhi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a tweet Friday night, condemned the violence and said the law and order situation is being monitored closely. 

“The law & order situation is being closely monitored. I reviewed the situation with NSA & Home Secretary,” PM Modi wrote on Twitter. He further urged officials to work round the clock to restore normalcy and provide all possible assistance.

11:20 am: Army and Rapid Action forces (RAF) have entered the premises of Dera Sacha Sauda Headquarters in Sirsa district of Haryana, news agency ANI reported.

Along with Army & Rapid Action Force, Police has also entered the premises of #DeraSachaSauda HQ in Haryana’s Sirsa #RamRahimSingh

— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2017

11:10 am: Reports are coming in that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is being summoned to Delhi. We are unable to verify the report at the moment.

11:00 am: Delhi Police on Saturday said the situation is under control in the National capital. In a tweet, Delhi police added that there has been no reports of violence in the city since Saturday. “Situation in Delhi is under control. There is no gathering and no incident of violence reported since yesterday. Adequate force deployed,” Delhi Police wrote on Twitter. Madhur Verma, DCP Delhi, further added in a tweet that the decision on prohibitory orders will be taken at later time after seeing the situation unfolding. “As the situation unfolds and based on the intelligence inputs, decision to review prohibitory orders under 144 CrPC shall be taken later,” he wrote on Twitter.

Situation in Delhi is under control. There is no gathering and no incident of violence reported since yesterday. Adequate force deployed.

— Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) August 26, 2017

10:55 am: Congress on Saturday accused Haryana government for the violence in parts of Haryana and Punjab after the conviction of Ram Rahim in a rape case. In a tweet, the party asked for Haryana CM Manohar Khattar’s resignation. “Death & violence caused by complete failure of state machinery. Lack of preparedness inexcusable. PM must take action & #KhattarMustResign,” the party said in a Twitter post.

Death & violence caused by complete failure of state machinery. Lack of preparedness inexcusable. PM must take action & #KhattarMustResign

— Congress (@INCIndia) August 26, 2017

10:45 am: Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Smriti Irani on Friday issued an advisory asking news channels to refrain from “causing panic, distress and undue fear”. In a tweet, she wrote, “Drawing attention of News Channels to Clause B of Fundamental Std. of NBSA refraining channels from causing panic, distress & undue fear.”

 In another tweet, Irani added, “Kindly note this advisory has been given by the offices of the National Broadcasters Association.” Meanwhile, several media personnel and teams were attacked in the mob violence. Given below is a list of media personnel who were targeted. Irani herself condemned the attack on media in another tweet, “Attack on media, damage to property condemnable. Appeal to all to maintain peace,” she said.

10:30 am: District administration and police officials on Saturday sealed off two ashrams of Dera Sacha Sauda in Kurukshetra distrct of Haryana, news agency ANI reported.

10:20 am: Reports are coming in that curfew is being relaxed in some parts of Punjab and Haryana early morning on Saturday to allow the local residents to buy daily groceries and essentials, IANS reported. Curfew was relaxed in Patiala, Bathinda and Ferozpur in Punjab for four hours, while it was relaxed in Kaithal town in Haryana.

10:15 am: Here is a list of Western Railways trains that have been cancelled or partially cancelled due to the deteriorating law and order situation in parts of Haryana and Punjab.

list of Western Railways trains that have been cancelled or partially cancelled  

10:05 am: As we told before Home Minister Rajnath Singh will hold a high level meeting to review the security situation in Haryana. According to latest updates from IANS, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Home Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi and Intelligence Bureau (IB) chief Rajiv Jain will attend the meeting along with several other Home Minister Officials. The meeting will take place at Rajnath Singh’s residence in New Delhi at 11 am.

10:00 am: Amid the rising tensions in the state, army units patrolled several places across Punjab and Haryana throughout Friday night. The soldiers also carried out flag marches early Saturday morning in at least 10 locations in southwest Punjab’s Malwa belt and Panchkula and Sirsa towns in Haryana. Meanwhile, section 144 is still imposed in Rohtak district of Haryana, news agency ANI reported. Security forces are deployed in the region.

#LatestVisuals from Haryana’s Rohtak: Section 144 still imposed, security deployed. #RamRahimVerdict

— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2017

9:50 am: Director General of Prisons (Haryana), K P Singh, told news agency ANI that no special privileges were given to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. “Some channels and papers are reporting on special treatment given to Ram Rahim. I clarify he is in Sunaria Jail, not in a guesthouse.” He further added that he is not lodged in an AC cell. “Ram Rahim Singh is being treated as normal prisoner. He is not provided with an attendant and there is no AC in the cell he is lodged in,” he said.

9:45 am: BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj on Friday, in a statement to ANI, said only one person has alleged sexual exploitation charges against the Dera Sacha chief. “One person alleging sexual exploitation but crores stand with him today, why those crores of people are not being heard?” Maharaj said. He further added that there is a conspiracy to spoil the image of India’s culture. “If even bigger incidents take place, court will also be responsible, not just Dera people… Yojnabaddh tareeke se Bhartiya sanskriti ko badnaam karne ka shadyantra hai,” he said. 

9:40 am: According to prison officals cited by news agency IANS, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh had a sleepless night inside the prison cell. The officials further told the agency that Dera Sacha chief will be given a medical examination on Saturday.

9:30 am: After the Dera mob started entering the houses of the local residences in the most sensitive areas of Panchkula, the situation turned frightening for locals, who were already panic-stricken for the past three days. The control room landline phone kept on ringing as locals kept dialing, just wanting the police to reach their homes. “Thank God, the phones were not switched off by the administration,” said Mrityunjay, a resident of Sector 4, who got his home saved from the Dera mob by calling the police control room. 

9:22 am: The conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case has proven to be an embarrassment for BJP leaders in Haryana. At least 19 of the current 47 BJP MLAs in the state, including Haryana BJP chief Subhash Baral had visited the Dera chief to pay their obeisance after winning the polls in 2015. The list of ministers include Krishan Lal Panwar, Krishan Bedi, Nayaab Sainuin and Manish Grover, who are all now ministers in the state government while Kanwar Pal Gujjar is Assembly Speaker. 

9:15 am: Amid the curfew in several parts of Chandigarh and Punjab, reports are coming in that schools will also remain closed in several places for a couple of days.

9:10 am: At least bodies of 17 people who lost their lives in the clashes were left unclaimed at Panchkula Civil Hospital on Friday. The officials at the hospital told reporters that the cell phone of the bodies kept ringing. Officials further said that two of the bodies are of women, while the youngest victim appears to be a boy between age 15 and 17. 

8:55 am: According to latest reports, Panchkula DCP Ashok Kumar was suspended for committing a “clerical error” in the order of imposition of Section 144 in Panchkula. As per the reports, Kumar had not mentioned the gathering of four or more persons as unlawful and had only mentioned that carrying of weapons was not allowed.

8:50 am: Western Railways on Friday cancelled 6 trains and partially cancelled 2 other trains in the wake of law and order situation in Punjab and Haryana, following the violence in the region, news agency ANI reported.

8:45 am: Home Minister Rajnath Singh called for an emergency meeting in Delhi on Saturday to review the security situation in states following the verdict in Baba Ram Rahim Singh case. Meanwhile, Punjab and Haryana High Court said the damages for the loss of property in the violence will be recovered from the Dera Sacha Sauda.

8:40 am: As a safety precaution measure, the Cente instructed the Haryana government to ensure security for CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh who pronounced the judgment on Friday. The Judge will pronounce the quantum of sentence in the case on Monday. 

8:30 am: According to a report by News 18, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, is placed has been kept at a guest house in Sunaria Jail of Rohtak district till the quantum of his sentence is decided on August 28. Meanwhile, some reports are suggesting that the rape convict will be lodged in a special cell, where he will be provided with mineral water an assistant who will stay with him.

8:25 am: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar visited hospital on Saturday to meet with those who were injured in the civil unrest that happened after the conviction of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

CM @mlkhattar visited public & security personnel injured during the civil unrest in Panchkula today.

— CMO Haryana (@cmohry) August 25, 2017

8:20 am: According to a report, internet services have been shutdown in Panchkula, while security has been tightened in Rohtak district. See visuals from Panchkula below.

#LatestVisuals from Panchkula where violence was witnessed yesterday: Section 144 still imposed; security deployed. #RamRahimVerdict

— ANI (@ANI) August 26, 2017

8:10 am: One person succumbed to injuries in Sira early morning on Saturday, news agency ANI reported. According to ANI, the death toll in Sirsa district of Haryana has reached 3. The headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda is in Sirsa.

7:45 am: DIG Mulinja Narayanan, the CBI officer who cracker the rape case against Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, faced numerous threats from the followers of the godman and felt pressure from his superiors and politicians. Speaking to Indian Express, Narayanan said he is happy to see the case reaching its logical conclusion and added many people wanted him to drop the case.

7:30 am: For the last seven days, since the verdict date was announced, Dera followers kept gathering in large numbers on the streets of Panchkula. But still, not even a single minister from the ruling BJP state government, or the Opposition, tried to reach out to then. Punjab and Haryana High Court bench also accused the state government of “complete collusion”with Dera followers, during the hearing of a PIL filed by local advocate Ravinder Dhull on security arrangements. To read more on how Khattar govt ignored the warning signs, 

7:15 am: After the violence in parts of Northern India, at least 445 train services have been suspended. Speaking to reporters, Neeraj Sharma, spokesperson, Northern Railway said, “485 train services have been affected (due to the violence). Of these, 445 stood cancelled.

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