Punjab simmers, violence on
Punjab continues to be tense on the second day after Dera Sachkhand chief Sant Niranjan Dass and his second in command Sant Rama Nand were shot at in Vienna by some still unidentified persons on Sunday.
A large number of Dera followers came out on the streets following the incident to protest against the shootout. Later, the protests led to violent incidents throughout the state.
While Sant Rama Nand died on Monday, Sant Niranjan Dass is reported to be out of danger and is recuperating.
Though curfew remained clamped in Jalandhar, Phagwara, Kapurthala and Ludhiana on Tuesday, the authorities allowed a four-hour relaxation during the day.
Barring some stray incidents of violence, the situation remained peaceful throughout the day. Protesters burnt a car at the Mehatpur area of the city on Tuesday afternoon.
Jalandhar Deputy Commissioner Ajeet Singh Pannu said the curfew relaxation was allowed to let people to purchase essential commodities.
He said, “The situation was peaceful in the district, though there were some minor incidents of violence. Paramilitary forces, including the Rapid Action Force, have been deployed in sensitive areas. The curfew would continue for the time being.”
Meanwhile, army personnel offered food, water and tea to hundreds of stranded passengers at Jalandhar railway station. They also provided milk for children stranded at the bus stand.
An army press note said it provided vehicles to reach passengers stranded at bus stands and the railway station home.
Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who called an all-party meeting, said it had been unanimously resolved to condemn the Vienna incident.
“We also condemn the subsequent violence that had occurred in parts of Punjab,” Badal said.
He denied that there was a delay in deploying the forces, which allegedly resulted in huge losses of government and private properties.
Former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, however, demanded a judicial probe into the violence to find out why the state did not do enough to control the mob.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission decided on Tuesday to postpone the Nurmahal assembly bypoll scheduled for May 28 to June 12.