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A week after violence, Dera followers allege police harassment in Punjab

On Saturday, dera followers met Congress leaders in Faridkot while on Friday, they narrated their woes to Congress MLA Amarinder Raja Warring in Gidderbaha.

Written by Raakhi Jagga | Ludhiana | Published: September 3, 2017 4:03:07 am
Police at Sacha Sauda camp in Salabatpura, Bathinda. Harmeet Sodhi & Gurmeet Singh

A week after violence by Dera Sacha Sauda supporters, its followers settled in different parts of Punjab have started protesting police raids, alleging harassment. On Saturday, dera followers met Congress leaders in Faridkot while on Friday, they narrated their woes to Congress MLA Amarinder Raja Warring in Gidderbaha.

Meanwhile, members of Zamin Prapati Sangrash Committee (ZPSC), an association of mostly dalits, held a meeting in Sangrur and complained that a number of dera followers were being harassed by police. Mukesh Malaud, president of ZPSC, said, “A majority of dera followers are dalits and they are being targeted. Raids are being conducted at their places daily. A number of them have not come back home. It is a harassment to their families.”

Citing an instance, Malaud said, “Gurpreet Singh is a block head of Dera Sacha Sauda from village Bhattiwal Kalan. His house has been raided. Police came in large numbers to know how many persons went to Panchkula. He is scared.” Balvir Singh of Kheri village is another dera follower who is being questioned about people who visited Panchkula.

Sangrur SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu said, “I have not received a single complaint from any dera follower. We are questioning only those who are suspects. No one is being harassed.”

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