18 minor girls taken out from Dera campus in Sirsa

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Chandigarh–Authorities in Haryana’s Sirsa district on Tuesday got 18 minor girls taken out from the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) sect headquarters near Sirsa town to undergo a medical examination.

“Eighteen girls, aged up to 18 years, were taken out from the Dera after completing all legal formalities. At present, these girls are under the supervision of a Child Protection Officer and, later they would be sent to child protection institutes being run at different places,” Sirsa Deputy Commissioner Prabhjot Singh said.

Officials said the minor girls would undergo a medical examination.

The move comes after sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was convicted of rape of two of his female disciples in 1999 and sentenced to 20 years in prison by a CBI special court.

In other steps, the Deputy Commissioner said the district administration has also sent 650 people of the DSS to their respective destinations. “With this, only 250 to 300 people are now left in the Dera (campus),” he said.

The officer said that peace is prevailing in Sirsa town and relaxation in curfew has been given up to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, except for the roads leading to the Dera complex, eight km from the town.

“Internet services have also been restored. Educational institutions and banks have re-opened and the people are busy in their day-to-day work.”

“However, the Indian Army, paramilitary forces and police have been deployed at various areas in the city as a precautionary measure,” he added.

The Dera chief’s conviction verdict on Friday had led to large-scale violence in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh, and Sirsa in Haryana by sect followers which left 38 people dead and 264 injured. (IANS)


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