Amid reports of stray incidents of violence and brewing of tension ahead of the January 16 release of ‘MSG: The Messenger of God’, starring Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, the police have stepped up patrolling, particularly in Malwa areas where dera followers are engaged in the film’s promotion.
Amid reports of tearing of film posters, the Sirsa-based dera’s followers are trying to ensure that the promotional material is not damaged. A member of the dera’s political wing, Balraj Singh Insan, said, “Our first priority is to put up the material on the premises owned by the dera followers.”
Inspector general of police (IGP), Bathinda zone, Paramraj Singh Umranangal said maintaining peace was most important for the police and they were working in that direction. He said 10 companies from the Punjab Armed Police (PAP), Jalandhar, were already here to deal with any law and order situation in the Bathinda police zone.
The Malwa region, especially the districts of Bathinda and Mansa, had been the epicentre of clashes between dera followers and Sikh groups in 2007.