Curfew in HoshiarpurMay 25th, 2009 - 1:47 pm ICT by IANS
Hoshiarpur (Punjab), May 25 (IANS) Curfew was imposed in this Punjab town Monday following violent protests by members of the Dera Sachh Khand here who went on the rampage as news came in of an attack on leaders of the sect in the Austrian capital Vienna.
Police and protesters fought pitched battles on the streets. Several public and private properties and vehicles were set on fire and damaged. Mobs also blocked the Hoshiarpur-Jalandhar highway and a few other roads.
Armed with sticks, swords, bricks and stones, protesters of the sect, who are from the Dalit Sikh community and followers of Guru Ravidass, came out in large numbers in Punjab’s Doaba belt and tension spread in Jalandhar, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur and Nawanshahr towns.
Sect leader Sant Rama Nand, 57, the second-in-command, died in a hospital in the Austrian capital Vienna Monday following the armed attack involving rival Sikh groups at a gurdwara the previous day, which also left at least 15 people injured.
The condition of the sect head, who was the second guest guru speaking at the Vienna gurdwara, Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, was stable after undergoing emergency surgery, doctors in Vienna said.