Tension prevailed at Mallanwala, a town in Zira sub-division of Ferozepur district on Saturday when a group of Sikh hardliners disrupted a religious congregation of Dera Sacha Sauda followers. Police registered a case against Sikh radicals, including Dilbhag Singh of Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, but no one was arrested.
This is second such incident in a week. On Sunday, 25 Sikhs were booked after a clash with dera followers at Makhu where a similar congregation was being held.
Sources said dera followers organised ‘nam charcha’ (congregation) at Ward 6 of Mallanwala, 18km from Ferozepur, amid heavy security arrangements. At 9.40am, Sikh hardliners led by Dilbhag Singh reached the spot to disrupt the event. They climbed onto the rooftops of the houses in the lane where the congregation was being held.
As dera followers were crossing the lane to reach the venue, Sikh hardliners allegedly pelted them with stones, leading to tension. The hardliners then intercepted a commercial vehicle being driven by two young dera followers and stumbled upon packets of chili powder, sticks and baseball bats from it. To escape the wrath of the hardliners, the two dera followers splashed chilli powder and fled. Four Sikh men and two cops were hurt in the incident.
Soon, more police force arrived at the scene. Ferozepur deputy commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal and SSP Gaurav Garg too reached the spot and managed to disperse the two groups.
The SSP said on the basis of complaint by dera followers against Baba Dilbag Singh and his disciples, a case was registered under Section 295-A, (defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class), 506 (criminal intimidation) 148 and 149 (rioting) of the IPC. He said a probe was on. No arrest was made till the filing of the report.