Alleged Dera supporters attacked a TV18 crew in Sirsa on Sunday morning during the curfew relaxation from 6 am to 11 am. The crew was filming the Dera Sacha Sauda from the main road outside the dera at about 10.20 am. Cameraman Sunil, reporter Dharamvir Sharma were in a Swift Dzire car driven by Inderjit.
Suddenly, a Swift car began following them. They drove 6 km to shake off the car, but they had to stop at a police barricade, where the Swift car caught up with them. The men inside then pulled out the TV 18 crew members from their car, beat them and tried to snatch their camera; all in the presence of the police and paramilitaries at the barricade. “We were assaulted in front of security personnel,” said Sharma. The men then drove away with the journalists’ car. Police recovered it and returned it to them after a 90 minute search.
Sirsa is on edge again as the quantum of sentence on Ram Rahim , head of Dera Sacha Sauda, convicted for rape, comes up for arguments on Monday. The hearings will not take place in Panchkula, but in the Sanaria jail at Rohtak, where Ram Rahim has been lodged in the guest house. Curfew has been reimposed in Sirsa. Fearing arrest, many Dera followers are leaving the dera through the various points in the sprawling 1000 acre campus, avoiding the main entrance, where army and police have been deployed.