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Uneasy calm in Haryana after Sikh clashes

July 19, 2008 11:38 IST

Uneasy calm prevailed in Haryana's Sirsa district and parts of Punjab on Saturday even as curfew remained clamped in Dabwali town following clashes between followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and Sikhs.

A Sikh youth was killed in the clashes on Friday. The situation in the district and especially in Dabwali town is "under control," Sirsa Deputy Commissioner V Umashankar said.

Troops of Haryana Armed Police (HAP), Rapid Action Force (RAF) and paramilitary force conducted flag marches in trouble-torn Dabwali town and Sirsa's satellite towns -- Ratia, Ellanabad and Kalianwala -- to instill confidence among the people.

The warring factions -- the Dera Sacha Sauda, Sikh organisations, including Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Shiromani Gurudwara Parbhandhak Committtee (SGPC) -- have appealed to the people for maintaining peace and communal harmony.

The clashes in Dabwali broke out after an altercation during morning prayers of Dera supporters.

Meanwhile, Sikhs owning allegiance to Guru Granth Sahib Satkar Sabha maintained that they would perform the last rites of the deceased, Harmandar Singh, only if the Dera chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh is arrested.

In neighbouring Punjab, the situation in Bathinda, Muktsar, Moga and Malout was tense but under control, officials said.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is expected to reach Dabwali later today, party sources said.





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