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High alert in Haryana, Punjab; chaos on highway

Thousands of followers of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh are blocking the National Highway number one at different places.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2008 22:56 IST

Haryana and its neighbouring state Punjab have been put on high alert after a blast on the cavalcade of Dera Sacha Sauda chief in Karnal district on Saturday, with thousands of followers blocking the National Highway number one at different places.

"The state is put on high alert and we are monitoring the situation closely," Haryana's Home Secretary, KS Bhoria told PTI.

He said the Government was keeping a close watch on the Dera followers, who had gathered in strength and had blocked the national highway number one, near Karnal, Kurukshetra and Ambala after the incident.

Though, the sect chief, who was returning along with his followers after a appearing in a court in Ambala, escaped unhurt, 11 persons were injured in the incident.

It was complete choas on the highway as traffic had virtually come to a stand-still, with followers squatting on the roads. Long queues of vehicles were seen on both sides of the highway and commuters travelling to Punjab, Chandigarh and Delhi had been put to great inconvenience.

Heavy contingents of police, which were moved to the affected spots, were facing great difficulty in dispersing the followers, who were protesting against the alleged attack and were shouting slogans, police sources said in Chandigarh.

They said that the followers had at some places started their 'satsangs' along side the highway. The situation in Sirsa, the sect's headquartered was peaceful, Sirsa's Deputy Commissioner V Umashankar said.