Tension prevailed in the area as members of a Hindu outfit and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda clashed as the Hindu leaders tried to burn an effigy of the dera head for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments, near the railway station here on Tuesday afternoon.
Hindu organisation leaders alleged that the dera followers tried to run them over. In the incident, Rohit Sawney, president of Hindu Shakti Morcha, allegedly suffered injuries on his leg. Sawney has filed a police complaint against the dera followers.
Sawney claimed that the dera head had hurt the religious sentiments of the Hindus by dressing like Lord Vishnu, so they staged a protest against the dera head and planned to burn his effigy. “When we were carrying out the protest, dera followers arrived on the scene in an SUV and threatened us with dire consequences. When we resisted, they tried to run us over. In the attempt, my leg was hurt as they crushed my foot under the car,” Sawney claimed.
“The accused called some dera followers who were watching a film of the dera head in the nearby multiplex and threatened us. When we called the police, they fled the spot after threatening us. They also snatched the effigy from us,” he added.
The Hindu organisation has filed a complaint with the Division No 1 police. Sub-inspector Balkar Singh, additional SHO, said Sawney had filed a complaint against the dera followers and the police would take appropriate action after investigating the matter. He said the police did not receive any complaint from the dera followers.
Meanwhile, members of the district committee of the dera, Harish Kumar Shanta and Sandeep Insan, said the picture of the dera head that had gone viral was from a music album released in 2009; and a few people had been making an issue out of it. They said the dera head was wearing the attire according to the demand of the scene and was not dressed as Lord Vishnu. They said some people wanted to breach peace in Punjab and police should take stern action against them.