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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Punjab - Breaking News - The latest

Dera row: State refuses to spare forces for Rajasthan

Tribune News Service

The Haryana Government is keeping a close watch on the response from the Sikh clergy to the “apology” issued by the Dera Sacha Sauda yesterday before it slackens the heightened presence of security forces in Sirsa and other sensitive areas of the state.
The dera, which annoyed the Sikh clergy by a controversial advertisement, issued the apology on the eve of the deadline set by Akal Takht for the sect to pack off from Punjab. The written statement seeking apology, however, was not signed by anyone. This is worrying the authorities in Haryana as they fear that rabid Sikh organisations may make an issue out of the absence of signature on the statement.
The state government was today also put in a bit of fix by the arrival of a request from the Rajasthan Government for sending forces to the desert state to tackle an agitation by the Gurjar community there seeking inclusion of Gurjars in the lists of STs. The Gurjar Sangharsh Samiti has resolved to begin a ‘chakka jam’ agitation in Rajasthan from tomorrow and police units from Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra have already been deployed in the state along with central paramilitary forces to prevent any breakdown of law and order there in the wake of the call.
The Haryana Government, however, decided to decline sending any of its forces to Rajasthan in view of the volatile law and order situation in Haryana. It is felt since Haryana has itself hired central paramilitary forces for maintenance of law and order, sparing forces for Rajasthan at this juncture will not be a good idea.
Haryana had asked for 20 companies of paramilitary forces from the Centre but were allotted only 15 companies. The central forces were slated to leave the state after May 25. The Union Home Ministry has now agreed to keep the central forces stationed in the state till May 31 when a meeting of the Sikh clergy on the dera issue is scheduled to take place. The Haryana Government on Friday requested the Centre to allow it to retain the forces in Haryana till June 10 to offset any design by miscreants to create law and order problem in the state after May 31.
R S Dalal, director-general of police, Haryana, who returned to Chandigarh today after having spent two days at Sirsa, talked to the home secretary K S Bhoria and briefed him about the law and order situation in the district. The home secretary also had a lengthy conversation with the deputy commissioner of Sirsa on the apology issued by the dera and its likely fallout.

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