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The district administration has decided to give a relaxation in the curfew from 6 am to 11 am today after no violence was reported by Dera followers in the area today, a state government official said. "We will relax the curfew in and around the Dera headquarters here from 6 am to 11 am today so that people can purchase essential goods," a senior government official said this evening. The official said shops will be allowed to open during the curfew relaxation period. The district administration had imposed curfew on the villages in the vicinity of Dera Sacha Sauda headquarters, which is situated here, in view of the rape case judgement against Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Saturday. Petrol pumps, banks, shops were closed in the area in view of the curfew. Dera followers had started pouring in at the headquarters here in run-up to the verdict but the sprawling campus is now witnessing a steady exodus of the devotees. Tension had gripped the locals yesterday as the frenzied followers of the sect asserted they were in for the long haul and ready to go to any extent to avenge their spiritual leader's conviction. But today, several devotees made their way out, first in small groups, and as the day progressed, in larger numbers. The local police, which had been urging those inside to vacate the sprawling premises through loudspeakers, said they were expecting the premises to empty out soon. "Earlier they were leaving in some small groups but now they are streaming out in bigger groups.
We are expecting the Dera premises to be vacated in a few more hours," said a senior police officer. A Dera follower, who left the headquarters along with his companions from Rajasthan, said his faith was intact in Ram Rahim and claimed he had done nothing wrong.
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