Chandigarh: Security has been tightened across Punjab following protests by Dera Sacha Sauda supporters over the filing of a fresh murder case against their chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
Dera Sacha Sauda supporters went on a rampage at several places in Punjab and Haryana to voice their ire at the name of their chief figuring in the murder case.
Authorities tightened security and the Centre has rushed 1,200 paramilitary personnel to affected areas.
Prohibitory orders have been clamped down in Sirsa, where the sect is based, and in Fatehbad, Jind and Hisar in Haryana.
A shutdown has inconvenienced locals.
Surinder Joshi, a shopkeeper, said, "There is no law, but if you say there is law and authorities are taking actions against these activities, then what is the point of blocking the daily chores of the city?"
"What is the sense in this? Labourers and workers are highly affected by this especially those who are daily-wage earners; their situation has become miserable," added Joshi.
Security personnel were seen patrolling the streets in the market. Tight security was also deployed outside the building of the Dera Sacha Sauda.
The Central Bureau of Investigation had booked Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh last week in connection with the murder of one Faqir Chand in 1991. The victim was working as a manager at the sect``s mission.
The controversial sect chief faces other criminal cases also.
Dera Sacha Sauda activists earlier on Saturday set fire to several buses and trains in Moga district of Punjab. However, nobody was injured in the arson.
The Dera sect, which has over thousands of followers, says it is a social organisation that believes in the oneness of God, and does not adhere to a particular faith, although its leader wears a turban and has a long beard in the Sikh style. (ANI)