Dera issue: Situation peaceful in Punjab, Haryana

The flag marches, aimed at instilling confidence among the people, were staged on Sunday evening by paramilitary forces which were deployed in Moga and other affected towns including Ferozepur, Bathinda and Sangrur in Punjab and in Sirsa, Ambala and Fatehabad in Haryana.

Barring a minor incident of torching a bus in Kurukshetra in Haryana, the situation in the violence-hit areas was by and large peaceful, a senior official said today. The paramilitary forces and contingents of policemen in the two states maintained a tight vigil at the troubled spots where the followers of the Dera chief had set afire trains and buses and damaged public property, he said.

"Those breaking the law and indulging in any act of vandalism or joining any demonstration which can disturb peace will be dealt with strictly," he said. Though the situation was peaceful in Haryana, a stray incident of a bus being torched by some miscreants at Badondi village under Ladwa police station was reported.

Police sources said, quoting a report from Kurukshetra, that some unidentified persons had put some inflammatory liquid inside the bus last night and then set it ablaze. The incident was noticed after smoke and flames started billowing from the vehicle, they said.

The villagers informed the police, which reached the spot and later registered a case against unknwon persons. Meanwhile, the Railway police has registered a case against unknown persons for torching of three bogies of the Sutlej Express at Moga on Saturday evening.

At Bathinda, a large number of activists of the Dera demanded release of the sect activists rounded up by the police in the district yesterday.

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