Situation in Batala tense but under control
Last Updated: Sunday, February 21, 2010, 21:35
  
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 said.

PTI


First Published: Sunday, February 21, 2010, 21:35


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