24/08/2017 2:44 PM IST | Updated 24/08/2017 2:45 PM IST

Ahead Of The Rape Case Verdict, Accused Gurmeet Ram Rahim Asks His Followers To Maintain Peace

Rahim said he will appear in person before the court on Friday.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

CHANDIGARH -- Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim on Thursday said he will appear in person before the court that is slated to pronounce verdict in the sexual exploitation case against him on Friday and appealed to his followers to maintain peace.

The CBI court in Panchkula has asked Gurmeet Ram Rahim to remain present in person tomorrow when the verdict in the case will be pronounced.

"I have always respected the law. Even though I am having a backache, still abiding by the law, I will go to court (tomorrow). I have full faith in God. Everyone should maintain peace," the sect chief tweeted today.

The sexual exploitation case was registered against the Dera chief in 2002 by the CBI on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court after anonymous letters were circulated about the alleged sexual exploitation of two 'sadhvis' (female followers) by Gurmeet Ram Rahim.

The Dera chief has denied these charges.

Both Haryana and Punjab are on high alert to deal with any law and order issue that may arise. Several companies of the paramilitary forces have reached the twin states, with tight security arrangements being put in place in their joint capital Chandigarh.

Security forces today conducted flag marches in sensitive districts in the two states, where prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed and educational institutions shut for the next two days. Bus services on many routes have been suspended as a precautionary measure.

Ahead of the verdict, a large number of Dera Sacha Sauda followers from various parts of Punjab and Haryana have flocked Panchkula. They could be seen along many roads and also in various public parks.

The Dera followers have also been arriving in great numbers at the sect headquarters at Sirsa, about 260 km from here.

Also on HuffPost India:

Photo gallery How Different Newspapers Covered The Ayush Ministry's Advice To Pregnant Women See Gallery