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Uneasy calm, govt rushes forces

A tense atmosphere prevailed in Punjab and Haryana on Sunday, following violence by followers of heterodox sect Dera Sacha Sauda on Saturday.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 01, 2010 01:13 IST
HT Correspondents

A tense atmosphere prevailed in Punjab and Haryana on Sunday, following violence by followers of heterodox sect Dera Sacha Sauda on Saturday.

Armed people had burned buses and damaged public property in Punjab and Haryana on Saturday.

They were angry because their leader, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, was booked by the CBI for the alleged murder of sect manager, Faqir Chand in 1991.

The home ministry rushed about 1,200 paramilitary personnel to the two states.

“We have sent central paramilitary forces... to take care of the situation. Strict instructions have been given to the state governments to take severe action against those breaking law and order,” Home Secretary G.K. Pillai said in New Delhi.

He said Home Minister P. Chidambaram was aware of the development and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has also been informed.

In Sirsa, Fatehabad, Jind and Hisar districts (all in north-west Haryana), the authorities have prohibited carrying of firearms and swords.

The situation in protest-hit areas, especially Sirsa, which houses the Dera headquarters, was tense but under control.

“No untoward incident has been reported from any part of Haryana. Patrolling and combing operations are on to nab anti-social elements,” said DGP (Law and Order) V.N. Rai.

Four companies of the BSF and two companies of the CRPF, in addition to the state armed police, were deployed in the districts of Sirsa, Fatehabad and Ambala.