The district police have booked nine people for the clash between followers of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda and members of various Sikh radical organisations at Baghapurana on Tuesday over the issue of dera chief Sant Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's yet-to-be-released movie 'MSG: Messenger of God'. They have been charged with tearing down the flex boards of the movie and allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the dera followers.
Tension gripped Baghapurana late Tuesday night as dera followers and members of various Sikh bodies clashed after posters of the movie were torn down.
The two groups pelted each other with stones and the police had to fire in the air to disperse the crowd.
Senior police officials said that two fresh cases have been registered against nine activists of various Sikh bodies identified as Devinder Singh, a resident of Haryewala village, Baljinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Visakha Singh, Jagtar Singh, Satwinder Singh, Jagjit Singh, residents of Rode village, Bittu Singh of Lande village and owner of the Brar Dairy at the Baghapurana police station on the statement of dera followers Anshu Kumar and Gurpreet Singh.
Keeping in view the highly volatile situation and tenuous relations between dera followers and Sikhs, the police have increased its vigilance and presence in Moga, Baghapurana and adjoining villages of Smalsar, Rajeana, Budh Singh Wala and Thathi Bhai. Anti-riot police force has been deployed in Baghapurana.
As per information, dera followers have an impressive strength in Baghapurana and adjoining villages.
The Baghapurana incident of clash between Dera followers and members of Sikh bodies was the third such incident in the district over the past one week.
In earlier incidents in Moga city and Thathi Bhai village of Baghapurana subdivision, cases had been registered against unidentified people under Section 295-A (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings by insulting religion or religious beliefs) of the Indian Penal Code on the basis of the complaints of dera followers.
Jatinder Singh Khaira, senior superintendent of police (SSP), said, "We are investigating the entire matter at the moment. However, a heavy police force has been deployed to prevent any untoward incident in the Baghapurana area under the supervision of SP and DSP level officers. We will not allow any person to disturb the law and order situation across the district."