Dera follower succumbs to burns; situation tensed in Pillibanga

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Jaipur, Aug 15 (UNI) Tension prevailed in Pillibanga town of Hanumangarh district following the death of a Dera Sacha Sauda follower who attempted self-immolation outside the SDM Office yesterday in protest against "character assassination and false propaganda against the Dera Chief" at a Sikh congregation.

Dera follower cloth merchant Bhagwan Das Jindal who sustained over 90 per cent burn injuries in his self-immolation bid succumbed at the SMS Hospital here this afternoon, Police Sources said.

Meanwhile, Dera followers were gathered outside the Dera "Naam Charcha(discourse) Center in Pillibanga to carry out a protest march,however, after the report of Jindal's death postponed the programme till the arrival of his body from Jaipur, a report from Hanumangarh said.

The situation in Pillibanga was tensed but peaceful and the administration was maintaining extra alert.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 were in force since last evening as a precautionary measure in the district.

Jindal was upset over "character assassination and false propaganda" against Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim at a kirtan Deewan held by Sikhs in Lakhuwali village near Pillibanga for past three four days.

Jindal had gone to the SDM office along with a Dera followers' delegation to hold meeting with a Sikh delegation convined by the SDM but he suddenly came out and tried to immolate by setting him ablaze after sprinkling kerosene.

He was rushed to Hanumangarh district hospital from where he was referred to SMS hospital in Jaipur in a serious condition.

UNI SS AE KN1827

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