Over 30 Dera Centres Sealed; AK-47 Rifle, Petrol Bombs Seized From Followers

Over 3,000 'lathis' (wooden staffs), diesel and petrol were recovered from Kurukshetra alone, he said.

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Over 30 Dera Centres Sealed; AK-47 Rifle, Petrol Bombs Seized From Followers

In Haryana, arms and ammunition were recovered allegedly from Dera followers.

Chandigarh:  More than 30 congregation centres of Dera Sacha Sauda across Haryana were sealed today, a day after its followers indulged in massive violence in Panchkula and other areas of the state.

"Over 30 'Naam Charcha Ghars' (congregation centres) in various districts have been sealed," Haryana's Additional Director General of Police, R C Mishra said this evening.

Among the centres that have been locked were 13 in Ambala, 10 in Kurukshetra and eight in Yamunanagar district, he said.

Over 3,000 'lathis' (wooden staffs), diesel and petrol were recovered from Kurukshetra alone, he added.

The crackdown was launched both by Haryana and Punjab on the Dera centres, a day after violence in Panchkula and Sirsa districts claimed 36 lives and left scores injured.

Hundreds of Dera supporters had become violent following the conviction of sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by a Panchkula special CBI court in a rape case.

Punjab police also said that 'lathis', rods, axes etc were also recovered from 98 Dera centres spread across the state.

In Haryana, arms and ammunition were recovered allegedly from Dera followers.

"We have recovered one AK 47 rifle and one Mauser (rifle) from the vehicle of a Dera follower and two rifles and five pistols from another vehicle during the operations," Haryana DGP B S Sandhu said.

He was addressing a joint press conference along with Haryana Chief Secretary D S Dhesi and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Ram Niwas.

Mr Dhesi disclosed that two cases of sedition had been registered against Dera followers.

Haryana authorities today conducted searches at several Dera centres "suspecting weapons could have been hidden," Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Niwas said.

At the press conference here, Niwas was asked if searches were also being carried out at the Dera headquarters in Sirsa to which he replied in the negative.

"Security personnel are patrolling the outer area of the sect headquarters and keeping a close vigil," he said.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh said the state police had visited 98 Dera centres in the state.

"We found lathis, rods, pipes, axes and petrol bombs," he said. 

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