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Dera chief taken to undisclosed place as Sikh protests spread

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SIMMERING ANGER : Sikh protesters waving swords during a demonstration demanding the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh, in Bhopal on Sunday.
SIMMERING ANGER : Sikh protesters waving swords during a demonstration demanding the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Ram Rahim Singh, in Bhopal on Sunday.

Special Correspondent

MYSORE: Dera Sacha Sauda chief Baba Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was whisked away to an undisclosed destination by the police under heavy security cover on Sunday.

Ram Rahim Singh arrived here late on Saturday evening and stayed overnight. A heavy security cloak was thrown around him following disturbances in Mumbai and other places during the last few days.

Balkar Singh (40), was killed when the Dera chief’s security guards allegedly opened fire on Sikh demonstrators near a mall in the Mumbai suburb of Mulund on Friday. Following the death, Sikhs went on the rampage in Mumbai.

In view of the growing tension, authorities shifted Ram Rahim Singh in a convoy and put him up in a place they kept secret. The security was so tight that photographers were prevented from going close to the convoy and a huge pandal was erected to prevent onlookers from getting a glimpse of the vehicle in which he was seated.

Ram Rahim Singh has established a camp on the outskirts of Mysore where it is speculated that a religious structure is likely to be constructed. The 2.5 acres of land has been purchased near Siddalingapura.

Appeal for calm

PTI reports:

As protests by Sikh groups spread to Bangalore, Mysore and Jammu, besides several towns of Punjab and Haryana, SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar appealed to them to “maintain calm and not to allow themselves to be provoked.” He said the protests should be within the “parametres of the law” and announced Rs. 5 lakh to dependents of Balkar Singh.

Sikhs blocked traffic on the Jammu-Pathankote National Highway and staged protests in Sirsa, Moga and Sangrur.

Radical groups Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj demanded that the Dera chief be arrested by Tuesday.

They asked the Centre to withdraw the Z plus security cover provided to him.

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