Sikh Protestors Clash with Police, 25 Hurt

July 12, 2007

Source: The Statesman / Press Trust of india

Over 25 people, including six policemen, were injured when Sikh activists demanding removal of the ‘Ek Onkar’ symbol from the facade of a Dera Sacha Sauda branch here clashed with police today. The Sikh activists, several armed with swords, reached the branch at Hussainiwala road to prevent Dera followers from holding a **namcharcha (prayer meeting), additional deputy commissioner Mr Rahul Tiwari and sub-divisional magistrate Mr DPS Kharbanda said. They said the administration prevailed upon the Dera not to organise the congregation and it agreed but the situation took a violent turn when the activists demanded that the ‘Ek Onkar’ (God is one) painted at the Dera’s entrance be erased as it was a Sikh symbol. Senior superintendent of police Mr Dinesh Pratap Singh said they tried to forcibly enter the Dera leading to a clash with police which used water cannons and teargas to disperse the violent protestors and when that failed, baton-charged them. Mr Singh said around 25 people were injured in the clash, including a head constable and five constables, one of whom has been referred to a Ludhiana hospital.