Fanaticsm comes in different colors. SGPC and Badal have no love lost for the Dera chief, who has a mass following. His support helped Congress win quite a few seats in the last election. Akali Dal will not forget its loss. Clashes after attack on dera chief’s convoy

Extracts from Tribune
Vishal Joshi
Tribune News Service

Nilokheri (Karnal), February 2
     The controversial head of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, escaped unhurt in an attack after his convoy was “targeted with a powerful blast” on the GT Road here this afternoon.
Sources told The Tribune that high-power explosive material like RDX might have been used in the attack.

     Forensic experts have reportedly found at least one detonator from the blast spot. The damage to vehicles clearly indicated that high-power explosives were used in the attack.

      Following the attack, dera followers staged a massive sit-in at the blast site and blocked the GT Road. The police had to divert the traffic off the GT Road. Reports of a heavy traffic jam near Indri were also received.

     The dera followers allegedly clashed with the police late in the evening and also damaged a few vehicles. The situation turned tense after a large number of dera followers, raising slogans against Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal, reached the spot.

     Two vehicles belonging to the dera followers were badly damaged in the blast. According to the sources, there were more than 50 vehicles of followers in the dera chief’s convoy.

     “A police escort Gypsy was ahead of the convoy. The moment our black Scorpio overtook a truck, we heard a deafening sound of the blast. There was total chaos, but no one was seriously injured,” the spokesman added. He confirmed that the dera head was safe.

     Meanwhile, at least two persons were admitted to the trauma centre in Karnal tonight after the police allegedly fired rubber bullets to disperse the agitating dera followers.

     The protesters damaged several official vehicles. Smooth flow of traffic on the NH -1 was restored around 9.30 pm.


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