13 Dera Sacha Sauda followers booked for vandalism in Faridkot; seven held in Barnala
The police had on August 28 already booked a local patwari, Kaur Singh, for allegedly conspiring the attack.punjab Updated: Sep 01, 2017 12:46 IST
The police in Faridkot district on Thursday booked 13 reported followers of Dera Sacha Sauda for allegedly vandalising a petrol pump in Chehal village in Kotkapura after a special CBI court in Panchkula convicted sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case on August 25.
The police had on August 28 already booked a local patwari, Kaur Singh, for allegedly conspiring the attack. The men — identified as per CCTV camera footage from the pump — made a bid to set the petrol station on fire but the staff had switched off supply in the pipes.
The accused have been identified as Sandeep Kumar, Tejender Singh, Gurtej Singh, Manak Singh, Sonu Ram, Gurvinder Singh, Ranjit Singh, Lakhwir Singh, Parminder Singh, Balwinder Singh, Narender Sharma, Bunty Sharma and Neela; the last four also allegedly planned the attack. While sources said they are in police custody, officials denied it.
The men had even threatened customers at the petrol station and damaged some vehicles, as seen in the security camera footage. Police registered a case of damage to property on a complaint by Chamkaur Singh Sekhon, owner of Sekhon Filling Station.
However, a senior police official said, “The owner of the pump didn’t adhere to warnings of the police to close it during curfew. We were apprehending such incidents as the followers were furious.” Sekhon, who is a local leader of the Congress, in turn said he got a call from “a senior official” that paramilitary forces required fuel and thus he kept his station open.
KC Prashar, station house officer, Kotkapura Sadar, said, “We will soon nab all the accused as they were identified in the footage.” Meanwhile, police in Barnala arrested seven persons for vandalising and setting a telephone exchange in Channanwal village on fire on the verdict day. One of the eight booked for causing damage of Rs 1.4 lakh to equipment and furniture, besides building loss, is at large.
Station house officer Kamaljit Singh said, “Our preliminary enquiries suggest they got instructions from their head office in Sirsa.”
1 booked for sedition
In Muktsar, Kotbhai village police booked Teja Singh, a dera follower and resident of Madheer village, for sedition. “We have received a video in which Teja Singh can be seen addressing the public and saying that they will destroy India if anyone harmed their pitaji (dear father),” said SHO Krishan Kumar.