Curfew relaxed in Haryan town till 1700 hours

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Dabwali (Sirsa), Jul 20 (UNI) Curfew has been relaxed for 4-hours from 1300 hours today in this sub-divisional town of Sirsa district, where supporters of a local Sikh religious group clashed with Dera Sacha Sauda supporters on Friday last leading to the death of one person.

No untoward incident has been reported so far during the relaxation period, official sources here stated.

Indefinite curfew was clamped on Friday after members of the Satkar Sabha, a Sikh religious group, went on rampage alleging that one of their supporters had been killed by Sacha Sauda followers who were holding a 'satsang'.

The district administration had relaxed the curfew in the town yesterday at 1030 hrs to enable members of the Sikh community to perform the cremation of Harminder Singh, who was killed in the clash on Friday. The cremation ceremony concluded at around 1430 hours yesterday following which the curfew was reimposed.

Situation in this town, bordering Punjab, was reported to be under control with jawans of the Rapid Action Force (RPF), the CRPF and the BSF and the state police patroling the streets and lanes of the town. Four companies of BSF, CRPF and RAF had been deployed in the town to maintain law and order.

Meanwhile security at Sirsa the headquarters of Sacha Sauda has been furthered tightened after followers of the Dera took out a march yesterday despite the ban orders imposed by the district administration.

The alert in neighboring Punjab continued for the third consecutive day. A 'bandh' was observed in Dirba town of Sangrur district where a shop was damaged by members of a Sikh organisation after it was found open. Sikh protestors blocked vehicular traffic in Hoshiarpur town and demanded the arrest of Dera head Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

Meanwhile Dera spokesman Aditya Insan while addressing a media conference at Sirsa alleged that the drug mafia backed by certain political leaders of the region was behind the attacks on Sacha Sauda supporters. He claimed that the anti-drug campaign launched by the Dera had been a huge success and this had not gone down well with the drug mafia.

He disclosed that a meeting of heads of all 'dera's' (preaching centres) had been summoned at Sirsa on July 22 where the future coarse of action to be adopted by the Sacha Sauda against "such attacks" would be discussed.

UNI XC-HS MMS1544

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