Jalandhar: Army was on Monday deployed in the city and some of its neighbouring areas and indefinite curfew clamped after protestors resorted to widespread violence and blocked rail and road traffic following an attack on Dera sect leaders in Vienna.
“Curfew in the entire district has been extended for an indefinite period and five columns of army (containing 75 personnel each) have been deployed to control the violence”, A S Pannu, deputy commissioner said.
Protestors resorted to arson and violence, attacking a police station at Maksooda here and setting afire several vehicles parked inside it and indulged in stone pelting in several areas, police said.
Police fired in Lambra village, about 30 kms from here, to quell the stone pelting mob.
Reports of violence came in from Nurmahal, Nakodar and other places. In Phillaur, about 50 kms from here, a sub divisional magistrate and deputy superintendent of police were gheraoed by the protestors, police said.
Rail traffic was blocked on the Jalandhar-Amritsar track as protestors sat on the lines, police said, noting that road blocks were set up at several areas to stop traffic.
Tension engulfed the city soon after reports of the killing of Sant Ramanand came in from Vienna.
Tension gripped the city late Sunday evening as protestors gathered at local Rama Mandi Chowk, Ram Nagar railway crossing and blocked the road and rail traffic in protest against the firing at the head of Dera Sachkhand Ballan and his close associate in Vienna.
In spite of the curfew, protestors were seen in several areas including Butan Mandi, Nakodar Chowk and Workshop Chowk, where a police post was also burnt by the protestors.
Reports from Phagwara and Banga stated that traffic on Jalandhar-Chandigarh and Jalandhar-Ludhiana was also blocked by the protestors.
On Sunday night, protestors, burnt several vehicles and attacked two trains at Jalandhar Cantonment Railway Station in which 11 persons received minor injuries.
Devotees of Dera Sachkhand in Butan Mandi area burnt several vehicles parked in the area, police sources said adding within no time violence spread to adjoining areas of Phagwara and Nawahshehr district.
The dera has a large following in the Adharmi community, particularly in Doaba region of Punjab.