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Dera chief's vehicle attacked, 8 hurt in clashes
July 16, 2007 15:48 IST
Last Updated: July 16, 2007 19:49 IST
Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh escaped unhurt when his convoy was attacked this afternoon during a clash between his followers and the Sikh community in a village, 30 km from Sirsa, leaving eight persons injured and sparking tension in the town where paramilitary forces were called in.
The incident occurred when the Dera chief, who was returning from Rajasthan's Sriganganagar district after a religious discourse, halted at Gukanwale village on the insistence of his followers, who wanted an audience with him.
After the attack, the Dera head was brought to his headquarters using a different route, police said.
While police resorted to mild lathi charge and used teargas to disperse the warring groups, paramilitary personnel were deployed in the town to prevent further escalation of violence.
While Dabwali's (the town near the place of incident) Deputy Superintendent of Police Wazir Singh said that eight persons were injured in the attack, the Dera sources claimed at least 12 people, including some sect followers and the security personnel accompanying the Dera head, were wounded and have been admitted to civil hospital at Sirsa.
Windowpanes of many other vehicles were also smashed in the incident, police said.
The Sikh community members of neighbouring Chormar village also held protest following the clashes. Meanwhile, Sirsa Deputy Commissioner V Umashankar said that the authorities had advised the Dera head not to halt anywhere along the way, but he stopped in the village and this aggravated the situation.