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‘Wrong signal’ & all that…
Chander Parkash
Tribune News Service

Salabatpura (Bathinda), May 17
District magistrate Rahul Bhandari today called the Army in this village to control the situation that became tense after many Sikh organisations attempted to storm the Sacha Sauda dera here. Talking to The Tribune, Bhandari said he had requisitioned the Army to handle the situation and the decision that whether it should be deployed or not was to be taken by the IG (Zonal), Patiala, M.K. Tiwari.

Though Tiwari did not talk to this correspondent, Jatinder Jain, DIG, Faridkot range, who along with Tiwari was camping in a school, said as per his information, the Army had not been called.

Information gathered by The Tribune said senior police officers were not willing to talk about the Army after their seniors reportedly advised them that such an admission would send a “wrong signal” in the state.

Even as many senior officers denied that the Army had been called out in the village, Bhandari said he had indeed summoned the Army.

The situation in the village became tense when a large number of members of Sikh organisations, who were not satisfied with the edict issued by the Sikh clergy at Talwandi Sabo in connection with the alleged anti-Sikh activities of Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, marched towards the Salabatpura dera of the sect to take its followers head on.

A large number of policemen, led by IG Tiwari and DIG Jain, cordoned off the area, in which the dera was located.

Senior civil and police officials pacified the armed protesters by holding talks with them while they were marching towards the town. They were demanding that the local dera should be sealed.

On the other hand, followers, who were inside the dera, fortified the entire complex. They got themselves armed with swords and lathis apart from storing stones in huge quantity.

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