Dera activists clash with Sikh group in Ferozepur, 9 injured

Ferozepur, Punjab: Panic prevailed in the region as nine persons were injured after a clash between the followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, known as “Premis”, and certain Sikh organisations, including “Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj”, near Jogewala village in Makhu, around 40 km from district headquarters, this morning.

The police had to fire several shots in air to disperse the mob and prevent the situation from taking an ugly turn. Senior police officials, including DIG Ferozepur Range Munish Chawla and SSP Sukhwant Singh Gill, along with heavy police contingent reached the spot to pacify the enraged crowd. The clash took place when Dera followers were going towards Mehmoodwala village to perform “Naam Charcha” which was opposed by the members of “Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj”.

The Dera followers were stopped in between Jogewala and Mehmoodwala villages from going ahead which triggered the clash. Sensing trouble, heavy police force had been deployed.

The two groups hurled stones at each other. Swords were also brandished as the situation soon became tense due to the clash between the two groups.

Sources said four members of “Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj” and five Dera followers were injured in the clash. They were taken to the civil hospital for treatment. Some policemen also reportedly sustained minor injuries during the clash, sources said.

Police fired shots in air to disburse those indulging in violence.

Deputy Commissioner DPS Kharbanda along with senior police officials held separate meetings with the two warring groups to normalise the situation.

Both the sides demanded registration of case against each other. The Dera followers sat on a protest, demanding registration of an FIR against the other group.

Eyewitnesses said the situation could have assumed alarming proportions had the administration not intervened at the right time.

The Deputy Commissioner said both the groups have been advised to exercise restraint and respect the sentiments of each other.

The injured, belonging to “Ek Noor Khalsa Fauj”, were identified as Mohkam Singh, Baaj Singh, Mangat Singh and Harnam Singh. Five “Premis” injured are Jarnail Singh, Major Singh, Gurmeet Singh, Kehar Singh and Kuldeep Singh.

Source: The Tribune

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