Hours before Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh expressed regret for the advertisement that offended Sikhs, the Punjab government on Saturday withdrew his state police cover. In Sirsa, Dera spokesperson Dr Aditya Arora said the sect leader would now get security cover from the Haryana government.
In Chandigarh, Punjab DGP NPS Aulakh said the previous government had given the Dera chief a four-man security ring. “The present government has decided to withdraw it.”
The state government also shifted Bathinda Senior Superintendent of Police Naresh Kumar for not responding to the situation adequately on the first day of clashes.
Meanwhile, paramilitary forces continue to hold flag marches in many areas of Punjab. No major incident of violence was reported from anywhere in the state. At Barnala, Sikh protesters burnt effigies of the Dera chief and set a shop on fire. Protesters also blocked the national highway and railway line connecting Jalandhar and Amritsar.