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Punjab and Haryana HC holds special hearing over law and order situation

LiveMint logoLiveMint 26-08-2017 PTI

Chandigarh: A full bench of the Punjab and Haryana high court is holding a special hearing on Saturday to discuss the law and order situation and other issues related to the violence after Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape.

At least 29 people were killed and 250 injured in Panchkula while two died in Sirsa in the violence after a special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Panchkula held Singh guilty of rape on Friday.

The court had on Friday asked the Dera to submit the list of assets and properties which can be attached “in case it is found that they and their followers are responsible for damaging properties”. The full bench of the court comprises acting chief justice S.S. Saron, justice Avneesh Jhingan and justice Surya Kant. “Whosoever has been instigating and inciting the crowd that has gathered to commit the acts of arson and violence they would be sternly dealt with,” the court said on Saturday.

“The damages that are caused to public and private properties shall be recovered from them,” it observed. Over the last few days, the high court has been hearing a PIL filed by a Panchkula resident, who had raised law and order concerns and stated that over 1.5 lakh people had earlier reportedly entered the district despite prohibitory orders. It had also ordered that no political leader, including any minister, would interfere in the working of officers handling the situation arising out of the verdict. The bench said an FIR would be registered in case of any provocative statement.

The high court had pulled up the Haryana government for not imposing prohibitory orders under Section 144 properly and preventing the huge gathering of Dera followers in Panchkula. While Punjab and Haryana are being represented in the case by their respective advocate generals, Atul Nanda and Baldev Raj Mahajan, senior advocate and additional solicitor general of India Satya Paj Jain is representing the Centre.

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