Tension, curfew continue in parts of Punjab

May 26th, 2009 - 10:24 am ICT by IANS  

Jalandhar, May 26 (IANS) Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur and Phagwara towns of Punjab continued to be under curfew Tuesday, a day after two people were killed in police firing to control the violence triggered in the state by the slaying of a Sikh religious leader in Vienna.
Officials said additional army, police and paramilitary personnel were deployed Tuesday since tension prevailed in many parts of the state, especially the central region.

However, barring an incident of a sugar mill godown being set on fire in Phagwara, about 20 km from here, Punjab did not witness any major violence Monday night.

Jarnail Singh, owner of the sugar mill, said bio-fuel was stored in the godown for a captive power plant and the loss due to the fire could run into several millions of rupees.

At least two people were killed and over 10 others injured in violence that erupted in Punjab following a bloody clash in a gurdwara in the Austrian capital Sunday. The top two leaders of the Dera Sachh Khand sect, who are followers of Guru Ravidass and belong to the Dalit Sikh community, were attacked with knives and firearms.

While sect head Niranjan Dass was recovering in a hospital are emergency surgery, his second in command, Sant Rama Nand Dass, died from gunshot wounds.

While one protester died in police firing in Jalandhar, another protestor was killed in Phillaur town, 40 km from here.

Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has called an all-party meeting Tuesday in Chandigarh, 150 km from here, to discuss the volatile situation.

District authorities in Jalandhar had to requisition the help of the army and paramilitary forces after the violent situation went out of police control Sunday evening.

The state witnessed one of the worst phases of violence in decades Monday as followers of the sect and other miscreants defied curfew and took to streets at several places, burning train bogies, buses, trucks and scores of private vehicles.

Public and private property was damaged in Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Patiala, Phagwara, Bathinda, Ferozepur, Amritsar and a few other places.

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