Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh escaped unhurt when his convoy was attacked on Monday during a clash between his followers and the Sikh community in a village, 30 km from here, leaving eight persons injured.
The incident occurred when the Dera chief, who was returning from Rajasthan’s Sriganganagar district after delivering a religious discourse, halted at the Gukanwale village on the insistence of his followers, and was attacked by a group of armed Sikhs. After the attack, the Dera head was brought to his headquarters from a different route, police said.
While police resorted to mild lathicharge and used tear gas to disperse the warring groups, paramilitary personnel were deployed in the town to prevent further escalation of violence.
While Dabwali’s (the town near the place of incident) Deputy Superintendent of Police Wazir Singh said that eight persons were injured in the attack, the Dera sources claimed at least 12 people, including some sect followers and the security personnel accompanying the Dera head, were wounded and have been admitted to civil hospital at Sirsa.
The Dera claimed that the district administration had already been intimated about the functions planned at Darewala, Nuhianwale and Ghukanwale villages.
In a statement, Dera spokesman Dr Aditya Arora alleged that they went strictly as per the programme, but the carcade was attacked by a group of armed Sikhs.
“This was a coordinated attack on the Dera head. A large number of policemen were present but they did not take any action,” he alleged.