Curfew continues in Sirsa, forces conduct flag march

A day after a clash between Dera Sacha Sauda supporters and Sikhs led the district administration to clamp curfew in Sirsa city, the situation remained tense on Sunday. However, no incidents of violence were reported. With paramilitary forces conducting flag marches, Section 144 of the CrPC — barring assembly of five or more persons and carrying weapon — was also imposed in the district on Sunday.

"Though there was no violence in any part of Sirsa today, as a preventive measure, we have ordered the closure of all institutions and other establishments till November 28," said Sirsa Deputy Commissioner J Ganeshan. The district administration, after analysing the situation, may relax the curfew for a few hours on Monday. "Curfew is likely to be relaxed from 6 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 5 pm but only after assessing the situation," a police officer said.

Vehicular traffic has been diverted from the outskirts of Sirsa and no public vehicle was allowed to enter the area. The roads leading to Dera Sacha Sauda have also been sealed and the paramilitary forces deployed.

"As many as 15 duty magistrates and police in-charges have been deployed in the district, which has been divided into 15 blocks. Sirsa city had been sealed completely. No vehicle or any person was allowed to enter or leave the city. Even roadways buses were stopped. IG (Law and Order) Mohammad Akil, Hisar IG Arshinder Chawla, district officials and district police officers are patrolling the city," Ganeshan said. Seven companies of paramilitary forces, including CRPF and Rapid Action Force, have reached the district.

Saturday's incident took place near Balmiki Chowk when followers of the religious sect clashed with Sikhs, who were on their way back from a meeting in Gurdwara Dashmi Patshahi. Among those injured included Sant Gurmeet Singh Trilokiwala, a member of the SGPC. The clash took place barely days after the Sikhs had allegedly showed black flags to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in Ellenabad, while he was on his way to Rajasthan.

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