Resenting the filing of a murder case against the Dera Sacha Sauda head by the CBI, the sect supporters on Saturday went on a rampage setting ablaze four trains and around 37 vehicles, including 27 buses, and vandalized property in several places in Punjab and Haryana.
Tension ran high in many towns in the two neighbouring states as police were put on high alert and Haryana requisitioned 1,500 para-military personnel to deal with the situation.
Patrolling was intensified in troubled-torn towns as Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Punjab's deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal appealed for calm.
Protesters set afire a compartment each of the Ferozepur-Ludhiana Sutlej Express, the Narwana-Kurukshetra train and two local trains after asking the passengers to disembark, a railway spokesman said.
They also vandalised railway property at Tapa, Moga and Kalaiyat in Punjab, he said. The mobs torched and damaged 37 vehicles, 27 of them buses, including an air-conditoned one, in Bathinda, Mansa, Talwandi Sabo, Bhagapurana and other places in Punjab and at Kaithal, Sirsa and Fatehabad in Haryana.
In Moga, the protesters tried to set ablaze the District Administration Complex, housing among others the offices of the Deputy Commissioner and the SSP, prompting police to fire in the air to scatter them.
Over 200 villagers, with some of them firing shots, attacked a police station at Bhagapurana. They fled after the reinforcement reached there from Moga.