The Punjab and Haryana High Court today directed officers of the Haryana government to use weapon or force if required to tackle the situation arising out of the CBI court verdict in the rape case against the Dera Sacha Sauda sect head.

A full bench of the court also ordered that no political leader, including ministers, will interfere in the working of officers in handling the situation arising out of the verdict.

The court also directed that no political, social or religious leader will issue any provocative statement.

The bench asked the Dera Sacha Sauda lawyer S K Garg Narwana to convey to the sect followers not to indulge in any violence or breach of peace.

“In case anybody indulges in violence or breach of peace, the Haryana government can take stern action against them,” the bench said.

The court directed the officers of the Haryana government “to use weapon or force as per the demand of the situation“.

The court also asked the officers concerned to videograph the court complex.

A full bench of the court comprising acting Chief Justice S Singh Saron, Justice Avneesh Jhingan and Justice Surya Kant was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Panchkula resident raising law and order concerns as over 1.5 lakh people have reportedly entered the district despite prohibitory orders.

Additional Solicitor-General of India, Satya Pal Jain, informed the court that since last evening the Centre has sent 40 additional companies to Haryana and nine to Punjab.

Of these 40 companies, 35 reached this morning and others are likely to reach shortly, Jain told the court.

In line with the the request of the Haryana government, the Army has been put on stand-by and Defence Ministry officers are in touch with their Haryana counterparts, Jain told the court.

Haryana’s Advocate-General Baldev Raj Mahajan told the court that certain areas occupied by Dera followers have been vacated.

He informed the court that the Haryana government has already prepared two plans to deal with both scenarios — if the Dera head is convicted or acquitted.

The bench will now further hear the matter at 4 pm, Jain said.

Yesterday, the court had pulled up the Haryana government for not imposing Section 144 CrPC properly to prevent the huge gathering of Dera followers in Panchkula.

The court directed the Centre to immediately provide adequate forces required to deal with any law and order issue, while also asking the Dera Sacha Sauda to apprise it of the steps being taken by it to defuse the situation.

The petitioner, a practising lawyer himself, had attached photographs of Dera followers camping on the roads of Panchkula and also circulars issued by Punjab and Haryana highlighting the volatile situation.