Bus torched in Haryana, uneasy calm prevails

Chandigarh, March 1 (Calcutta Tube) A bus was torched in Haryana’s Kurukshetra district Monday as an uneasy calm prevailed in the state and in neighbouring Punjab after supporters of the controversial Dera Sacha Sauda sect went on a rampage Saturday.

Six companies of paramilitary forces were deployed in different parts of Haryana while two companies have been stationed in Punjab’s Moga and Mansa districts.

‘Some miscreants torched a bus in Badondi village in Kurukshetra today (Monday) in the wee hours. We have registered a case against unidentified persons and started our investigation,’ a Haryana police officer said.

Haryana Police also took out a flag march in the most affected towns of Sirsa, Hisar and Fatehabad.

There was rampant violence and arson Saturday in the region to protest against the registration of another murder case against the Dera’s spiritual leader Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.

About 140 people have been arrested on charges of arson and rioting in Punjab and Haryana. Ninety arrests were made in Punjab.

‘It was all obviously planned as the violence instigated simultaneously in different parts of the region. We are investigating various aspects and are questioning the arrested accused,’ Inspector General Police (Bathinda Zone) Rohit Chaudhary told IANS.

Administrations of both the states are now evaluating the exact loss incurred during the violence.

In the wake of tension prevailing in the region, the majority of public transport remained off the roads in both states Monday.

Dera followers, known as ‘Premis’, had torched at least 40 buses Saturday and public property was destroyed in Moga, Bathinda, Mansa, Barnala and Ferozepur towns of Punjab and Sirsa, Hisar, Kaithal and Fatehabad in Haryana.

The sect chief was booked by the CBI Feb 22 for the murder of former Dera manager Faqir Chand in 1991. Chand’s body was never found. The CBI conducted an inquiry into the alleged killing on court orders.

Besides the sect chief, the CBI has booked four other members of the Dera for murder, destroying evidence and for hatching a criminal conspiracy.

The sect chief is already facing three cases, two of murder conspiracy and one of rape, in a CBI special court in Haryana’s Ambala town.

The Dera Sacha Sauda sect, which has a following all over the country, is headquartered in Haryana’s Sirsa town, 275 km from here.

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