Dera men go on rampage

Dera men go on rampage

A bus set on fire by Dera Sacha Sauda followers at Goniana Mandi in Bathinda on Saturday. PTI

At least six companies of paramilitary forces have been rushed to the troubled spots in the two states and a high alert has been sounded, official sources said here.

Several buses were set ablaze at Moga township, Bhatinda, Barnala and Ferozepur in Punjab and Kaithal, Narwana, Hisar and Sirsa, the headquarter of the sect, in neighbouring Haryana.

Twelve rounded up

The agitators also targeted three trains in Punjab and set ablaze a bogie of Sutlej Express. The police have rounded up at least 12 persons among those who indulged in arson in Punjab, sources said here. Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda has directed the district police chiefs to deal sternly with the elements responsible for the arson.

Director general of Punjab police P S Gill has said nobody would be allowed to take law into their hands and spoke of strict action against those indulging in violence, arson and rioting.

Prohibitory orders have been promulgated in the troubled towns of Punjab.
The followers of the sect were said to be agitated at the registration of a murder case by the CBI against Gurmeet Ram Ram Singh in an incident related to the killing of Dera manager Faqir Chand in 1991.

The CBI has already booked the sect head in a rape case and in the murder case of a Sirsa-based journalist.

Sources said the arson incidents seemed synchronised since there was a pattern to their eruption almost simultaneously in several towns of Punajb and Haryana on Saturday evening.

A Dera spokesman has appealed for calm among the followers.

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