Batala (Punjab): A few shops were vandalised on Sunday during one-hour relaxation of curfew in the town, which
witnessed violence over publication of a picture of Jesus
Christ in an allegedly objectionable manner, even as
authorities termed the situation as tense but under control.
The curfew was relaxed from 6 PM to 7 PM to facilitate
people buy essential commodities as a mob vandalised a number of shops and forced shopkeepers to roll down shutters at Tibber village, official sources said.
"The situation is under control," IG (border range) Preet
Singh Sahota said, adding as many as 2,000 police personnel
have been deployed in the district.
Around 12 people, including a journalist of a Punjabi
daily, were rounded up on the charge of violating the curfew
order, police said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal
appealed people to maintain peace and harmony. He said the
culprits behind the "blasphemous act of showing disrespect to
the image of Lord Jesus" had already been arrested and that a
Special Security Group was interrogating them.
"The group would also investigate the hidden motive, if
any, like fomenting violence and communal hatred in Punjab,"
Badal said, adding Punjab has a long tradition of maintaining
communal harmony and religious coexistence.
"The people of the state are wise enough to foil any
nefarious design to destabilise the hard earned peace," he