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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Punjab The Latest as it comes

Train stopped near Kapurthala; bandh in Jalandhar
Clash averted at Mansa village after stone pelting
Tribune Reporters
Mansa, May 19Tension gripped a few rural pockets of this district when members of the Sikh community and followers of Dera Sacha Sauda resorted to stone pelting at Mojae Khurd village. However, timely intervention by the police averted a major clash.
The incident took place after a few persons burnt the effigy of Baba Ram Rahim Gurmit. When dera followers reached this village from nearby areas, one of their vehicles was also damaged by members of the opposing groups.
SSP Ram Singh was able to bring the situation under control. He said a few other persons also tried to create tension at Bhikhi town of this district by spreading rumours that some members of the Sikh community were gathering at a gurdwara. But these proved to be just rumours.
He said no case had been registered in connection with the incident that took place at Mojae Khurd village.
Police sources said at Salabatpura village of Bathinda district, the situation had become normal. Sources added that some anti-social elements burnt a few mats of a gurdwara at Nathpura village of Bathinda district. However, Rahul Bhandari, deputy commissioner, clarified that the mats caught fire due to some other reasons.
In Muktsar district deputy commissioner Vikas Garg today presided over a meeting of the district peace committee.
SUBHANPUR (KAPURTHALA): Agitated Sikhs belonging to different radical groups forcibly stopped the Amritsar-New Delhi Superfast (2460) train at the Subhanpur railway crossing on the Jalandhar-Amritsar section from 11.35 am to 1.35 pm here on Saturday. The protesters included women also.
The Railway Department itself stopped the Amritsar bound Shatabdi Express (2029) and Howrah Mail (3005) at Jalandhar city and Shan-e-Punjab (2497) at Jalandhar Cantonment railway stations till the lifting of the blockade, Jalandhar railway station superintendent Ashok Kumar told The Tribune.
Some of the protesters raised slogans in favour of Khalistan and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. Some of them also threw stones at the railway cabin at Subhanpur railway crossing in which its window panes were broken. The GRP registered a case against the protesters in this regard.
Several protesters also blocked the road traffic at Subhanpur on the Jalandhar-Amritsar road on national highway No. 1.
JALANDHAR: On the call of different organisations, including ruling the SAD, a complete bandh was observed here on Saturday. While all education institutions were closed on the direction of the district administration, shopkeepers in almost all major bazaars of the city and its outskirts did not open their shops. Effigies of Dera Sacha Sauda chief were burnt at some places. Several groups of Sikh youths were seen brandishing swords.
HOSHIARPUR: Activists of various Sikh organisations led by Bhagwant Singh, SGPC member, and Jagmohan Singh Baboo, circle president of the SAD, today assembled at Gurdwara Singh Sabha, Dasuya, 40 km from here, and demonstrated against Dera Sacha Sauda head Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh.
Later, they staged a protest march to the SDM chowk and burnt the effigy of the dera chief. They also presented a memorandum to the SDM, Dasuya.
Meanwhile, deputy commissioner, Hoshiarpur, D.K. Tiwari convened a meeting of all parties at the mini-secretariat. Mohinder Kaur Josh, chief parliamentary secretary, Punjab, Sohan Singh Thandal and Sangat Singh Giljian, both MLAs, Dharampal Sabharwal, a member of the Rajya Sabha, Surinder Singh Thakedar and Vijay Aggarwal, both district president of the SAD and BJP, respectively, were those who attended the meeting.
SANGRUR: Following a reported altercation between followers of the Sikh Panth and Dera Sacha Sauda at Bugra village (near Dhuri) on Friday night five followers of the dera sustained injuries. Four of the injured persons were discharged. Sangrur SP (Headquarters) Dharam Singh said no one from among the injured was ready to give statement.
In Dhanaula (near Barnala) hundreds of Sikhs took out a protest march and burnt an effigy. At Cheema Mandi (near Sunam) the bazars today remained closed. Similar protests were held at Dhuri, Khanauri and Dirba. Flag marches were taken out at Dhuri and Ahmedgarh.
Meanwhile, leaders of mass organisations, social activists, intellectuals and students held a meeting held at Gadar Memorial Bhawan.
MALERKOTLA: The district administration has imposed Section 144 of CrPC in Malerkotla on Saturday in the wake of the Dera Sacha Sauda controversy. A flag march was also carried out by the BSF through the main bazars of the town.
BARNALA: Some activists of a Sikh orgainsation attacked Satguru grocery store on Saturday and burnt the shop. Shop owner Charnjeet Kumar said some Sikh youths came on a motorcycle and burnt the shop. Later, some Sikh youths also held a meeting at Gurdwara Singh Sabha and held a protest march in the city.

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