Haryana violence: Normal life comes to a standstill in Sirsa as people face shortage of essential items

Sirsa: Surender Kaur is unable to withdraw money from banks or ATMs for meet her daily household needs for the last two days while Manjeet Singh is not able to get the fuel tank of his motorbike filled at petrol pumps which are closed after authorities clamped strict restrictions in this town.

Normal life in Sirsa, which is the headquarters of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, has come to a standstill after curfew-like restrictions were imposed to prevent any untoward incident after the large scale violence by the followers of sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, who was convicted by CBI court in a 15-year-old rape case.

Milk supply has also been affected adversely in several areas as the agitated followers caused damage to a milk plant located near the sect headquarters.

After the CBI court in Punchkula pronounced the Dera Sacha Sauda chief guilty in the sexual exploitation case, followers went violent and set a milk plant on fire, police said, adding that flames were doused within a few hours.

Supporters of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect attack a member of the media in Panchkula on Friday. PTI

Supporters of the Dera Sacha Sauda sect attack a member of the media in Panchkula on Friday. PTI

Hotels too are facing the brunt as they are running out of supply of essential items. Hotel staff are not being able to reach their workplace due to the restrictions.

"For the last two days, I am unable to buy essential items for my household as I have ran out of money and also banks and ATMs are closed. Authorities should ensure that essential facilities are open so that people won't have to face any problem," said Kaur, whose house is about four km away from the Dera headquarters.

Apart from Kaur, Rajesh Kumar, who runs a hotel in the vicinity of the sect headquarters, said, "As there have been huge shortage of vegetables and essential items. We are only providing accommodation to our guests and not lunch, breakfast and dinner since Thursday night."

Schools, colleges, cinema halls, petrol pumps have also been shut as a precautionary measure.

Authorities have imposed curfew in areas, which are in the vicinity of the Dera headquarters, on Thursday.

People have been asked to stay indoors in the wake of violent protest by Dera followers on Friday evening.

Two companies of Army from Hisar district, ten companies of paramilitary forces – the CRPF and the BSF, the Rapid Action Force (RAF) and several companies of Haryana police have been deployed to maintain law and order in Sirsa district.

In the violence on Friday night, two Dera followers have been killed so far while seven injured, authorities said.

Out of seven, the conditions are three Dera followers are said to be critical.

Inspector General (Hisar range) AS Dillion said that police have been monitoring the situation in and around Dera headquarters.

Sirsa SP Ashwin Shenvi said that army has been called to maintain law and order situation in the district.

Updated Date: Aug 26, 2017 11:58 AM

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