Curfew relaxed for 15 hrs in Sirsa
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With the district administration relaxing curfew for 15 hours — from 6 am to 9 pm — on Monday, life was slowly coming back to normal in Sirsa city. It was the first relaxation after a continuous 30-hour of curfew, clamped after supporters of Dera Sacha Sauda and Sikhs clashed last Saturday.
The violence on November 24 had left 12 people injured and six vehicles badly damaged near Balmiki Chowk. The curfew, however, will continue from 9 pm on Monday till 6 am the next day.
While grocery shops and markets opened partially, all educational institutions like schools, colleges and other institutions would remain closed till November 28. All government offices, including various boards and corporations, also remained shut on Monday. In some areas, despite the relaxation in curfew, the police did not allow vehicles to enter.
Deputy Commissioner J Ganesan, who patrolled the markets and interacted with locals, said the markets have been opened for people to purchase necessary items. "I appeal to the people not to believe in any rumor. The district administration is committed towards maintaining law and order and police personnel had been deployed at different places... I assure the people of Sirsa that strict action will be taken against anti-social elements and no person will be allowed to take law in his hands," said Ganesan.
Security has also been tightened around Dera Sacha Sauda and the Balmiki chowk gurdwara, to avert any further clashes between Dera supporters and Sikhs. Police and Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed on the roads leading to both the places.
Meanwhile, a peace committee — including advocates, doctors, traders, municipal councillors and retired judges — on Monday condemned the "police inefficiency" in handling the situation in Sirsa on Saturday evening. "It was an utter failure on the part of district police. Around 500 armed policemen were deployed in the area, where the clash took place. All were mute spectators and rather ran for their lives while people were attacking each other. We condemn the police's role. We will conduct a peace march in Sirsa on November 29," said committee chairperson Jagdish Chopra.
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