|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Mumbai: Dera chief's bodyguard kills 1
June 20, 2008 20:32 IST
Last Updated: June 21, 2008 01:30 IST
One person was killed on Friday in firing by a bodyguard of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh, which is at loggerheads with the Sikh clergy, during clashes between Sikhs and supporters of the group in a mall in a north-east Mumbai suburb, police said.
The clashes occurred during a visit by Singh in the Nirmal Lifestyles mall in suburban Mulund late on Friday evening, they said.
A group of Sikhs allegedly went into the mall and started shouting anti-Dera Sacha Sauda slogans. This resulted in altercations between the protestors and Singh's followers after which the former resorted to stone-pelting, they said.
Singh's bodyguard fired at the crowd at around 1845 hours during the melee injuring one person, they said, adding the victim succumbed after being taken to a nearby hospital.
The Dera Sacha Sauda chief left the mall soon and his motorcade has been stopped in the jurisdiction of the Khopoli police station in neighbouring Raigad district, they said.
Singh had drawn the ire of Sikhs for allegedly hurting their religious sentiments after he appeared dressed as Guru Gobind Singh at a public function in Haryana's Sirsa town where a religious commune headed by him is situated.
Unconfirmed reports also said that a car in Singh's motorcade hit a cycle injuring the person riding it.
"However, we have not yet traced the person alleged to be injured," a senior police officer said.
The Dera head's motorcade sped away from the spot and has been held in neighbouring Raigad district's Khopoli.
A team from the Mulund police will be reaching there soon to take action against the erring bodyguard, the police said.
Immediately after the firing, the Sikh groups blocked LBS Marg, one of Mumbai's most important arterial roads, which led to massive traffic jams in the areas.
Two persons, who claimed to be not associated with any of the two groups, have been injured and admitted to nearby hospitals, police said.
Both of them claim that were shopping inside the mall when the clashes took place and they got caught in the melee.
One person identified as Bhupinder Saini, 21, has suffered a fracture in his hand while the second, Bhupunder Gill, 53, is unconscious, they added.