Several Sikh youths, armed with sticks and sharp-edged weapons, even took positions at the rooftops of the houses leading to the area where the 'Naam Charcha' was to take place, police said.
A clash broke out between radical Sikh outfits and ‘Premis’ – the followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda – over holding of ‘Naam Charcha’ (religious congregation) at Mallanwala block of this border district today.
Timely intervention of the police, deployed in heavy numbers, prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn, yet certain unidentified youths pelted stones and damaged one vehicle belonging to a ‘Premi’. Earlier, the administration had deployed heavy police force in Mallanwala, where ‘Naam Charcha’ was to take place at a residence of one of the ‘Dera’ follower around 10 AM today.
However, simultaneously, in a nearby Gurudwara, hundreds of persons owing allegiance to various Sikh outfits, including Baba Dilbagh Singh of Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj, Giani Maluk Singh of Raj Karega Khalsa Forum, Baba Hardeep Singh of Dal Panth, Baba Sarwan Singh of Taksal Mehta, Gursewak Singh of Punjab Youth Organisation, besides president Karaj Singh and other office bearers of the local Gurudwara started congregating to protest against the same.
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Several Sikh youths, armed with sticks and sharp-edged weapons, even took positions at the rooftops of the houses leading to the area where the ‘Naam Charcha’ was to take place, police said. The moment the religious ceremony of ‘Premis’ began, the Sikhs started raising slogans against the ‘Dera’ and the administration for allowing the same, they said.
The ‘Premis’, who were coming from nearby villages and other areas, were prevented from reaching the designated house which triggered panic as the markets were shut down anticipating violence.
Senior civil and police officials, including Deputy Commissioner S Dhaliwal, SSP Gaurav Garg, SP (Detective) Dharamvir Singh, reached the spot and brought the situation under control. The SSP also held meeting with Dilbagh Singh of Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj besides other radical Sikh leaders exhorting them to maintain peace.
Meanwhile, following the complaint lodged by Dera followers, the police registered a case against Baba Dilbagh Singh besides 35-40 unidentified persons under various sections of the IPC.
On February 19, the police had booked 37 persons, including 16 by name, on similar charges for disrupting ‘Naam Charcha’ being held in canal colony village in Makhu block under this district.