Dera Rampage Subsides – Uneasy Calm in Haryana, Punjab

An uneasy calm prevailed in Haryana and neighbouring Punjab Monday, two days after followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim went on rampage, setting vehicles on fire and destroying public property on Saturday.

The only incident of arson on the day was reported from the Kurukshetra district of Haryana where unidentified people set afire a bus at Badondi village. A case has been registered and investigations are underway to nab the perpetrators.

Six paramilitary companies have been deployed in various parts of Haryana while two companies are now maintaining a vigil over Moga and Mansa districts of Punjab.

The Haryana Police flag marched through Sirsa, Hisar and Fatehabad towns, which bore the brunt of the violence and arson Saturday.

According to reports, some 140 people have been arrested on charges of arson and rioting in the two states.

On Saturday, Dera followers took to the streets at several places in the two states to protest the registration of a murder case against their spiritual leader.

The Dera followers soon went on rampage torching some 40 buses and damaging public property across several districts in the two states.

Administrations in the two states are still in the process of quantifying the financial damage caused by the Dera anger.

In the wake of tension prevailing in the region, the majority of public transport remained off the roads in both states Monday, reported IANS news agency.

On February 22, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) booked the Dera chief for the murder of a former aide – Faqir Chand in 1991. The CBI conducted an inquiry into the alleged killing on court orders, added the IANS report.

Cases were also registered against four other Dera members.

The sect chief is already facing three cases.

The Dera Sacha Sauda is headquartered in the Sirsa town of Haryana.

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