Curfew enforced in Ludhiana following violent protests

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Ludhiana, Dec 6(ANI): Authorities imposed curfew in Ludhiana on Sunday following violence by a large number of Sikhs protesting the holding of a public discourse by Divya Jyoti Jagriti Sansthan leader Ashutosh Maharaj.

Earlier on Saturday, Sikh organizations had taken to streets to protest against the holding of a public discourse by Ashutosh Maharaj, who has not found favour with Sikh groups for allegedly preaching against their religion.

One person had died and 15 were injured when police opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells to control the protesters, who were pelting stones, damaged public properties and tried to disrupt the religious discourse of Maharaj.

Streets remained deserted and paramilitary personnel patrolled the streets in Punjab's major industrial hub.

The State police also roped in additional paramilitary forces to keep the situation under control.

"We have six companies of CRPF and two more companies of BSF, they are arriving shortly. Two companies of RAF (Rapid Action Force) are already available with us, they are already doing flag marches in the city. Force has been deployed at various paces and situation is so far peaceful," said Sukhchain Singh Gill, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Ludhiana.

Radical group leaders like Bhai Mohkam Singh, Convenor of Khalsa Action Committee, Kanwarpal Singh Bittu of Dal Khalsa, Baljit Singh Daduwal, Ranjit Singh and Jasbir Singh Rode were also among those who led the procession.

Although the conference was supposed to be held for two days on December 5 and 6, the violent clashes prompted the district administration to cancel the permission granted to hold the conference.

Many Sikh organizations including the radical Dal Khalsa said that the conference is backed by the State Government and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). (ANI)

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