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Badal condemns killing of Sikh protestor in Mumbai

The killing of a 50-year-old Sikh due to firing by the bodyguard of Dera Saccha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh has evoked condemnation from Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Chandigarh
UPDATED ON JUN 21, 2008 12:23 PM IST

The killing of a 50-year-old Sikh due to firing by the bodyguard of Dera Saccha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh has evoked condemnation from Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Badal spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and senior police officials and asked them to arrest the culprits.

The Chief Minister also called upon the Maharashtra Government to take effective measures for protecting lives and properties of Sikh community in the state.

"No one should be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere of amity and peace in the country," said Badal in a statement released last evening.

Yesterday, a group of Sikhs shouted slogans against Dera Saccha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh when he visited Nirmal Lifestyles Mall in suburban Mulund.

This led to altercations between Singh's supporters and the Sikh group which turned violent, police said. Singh left the mall but his bodyguard opened fire when some protestors attempted to block his vehicle.

One person was seriously injured and rushed to a nearby hospital where he died. He was identified as Balkar Singh Thakur Singh.

The Dera chief's motorcade sped away from the spot and has been held in neighbouring Raigad district's Khopoli area.

Sikhs have been enraged at Singh after he was seen at a public function dressed as Sikh Guru Gobind Singh at a gurudwara in Haryana's Sirsa village.

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