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Rediff.com  » News » Curfew relaxed in Jalandhar; protestor killed

Curfew relaxed in Jalandhar; protestor killed

Last updated on: May 26, 2009 11:24 IST

The situation in trouble-torn Punjab was tense on Tuesday but under control after violence swept the state in the wake of the killing of a sect head in Vienna even as a protestor was killed by a Shiromani Akali Dal councillor in 'self defence' in Jalandhar, taking the death toll to three.

Buses are not operating in the state and most train services remain curtailed. The first train that passed through Ludhiana on Tuesday morning was Guwahati-Jammu Himgiri express, officials said.

However, roads, which had been blocked by protestors, have been cleared for traffic, officials said.

A mob attacked Councillor Balbir Singh Bittu late Monday night and burnt his car following which he allegedly opened fire in self defence, killing a protester identified as Vijay, police said.

The situation in the state is tense, but under control, officials said in Chandigarh. Police and Army patrolling in curfew bound Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Phagwara and Hoshiarpur continued for the second consecutive day.

A two-hour curfew relaxation was given in Jalandhar. "We have given two hours relaxation in curfew from 8 am to 10 am for the people so that they can buy essential commodities," Jalandhar deputy Commissioner A S Pannu said.

However, no relaxation was given in curfew in Hoshiarpur and Phagwara.

A four-hour relaxation in curfew was given in 11 out of 16 police stations of Ludhiana from 10 am. The excluded areas are sensitive localities mainly of Dera followers, officials said.

Meanwhile, three trains bound for Punjab and Jammu have been terminated at Ambala junction, officials said, adding these included Dadar-Amritsar express, Mumbai-Amritsar deluxe and Shaheed express.

Three trains have been cancelled including Amritsar-Nanded Sachkhand express, Amritsar-Jansewa express and Meerut-Ludhiana superfast.

The widespread violence and arson took place in the state after head of Jalandhar-based Dera Sachkhand Ballan and his associate were attacked by some Sikhs in a shrine at Vienna at Austria on Sunday.

While Dera Sachkhan head Sant Nairanjan Dass was injured his associate Sant Ramanand succumbed to bullet injuries in a hospital triggering widespread arson and violence by their followers mostly Dalits in many parts of Punjab.

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