A media team from a national news channel was attacked by followers of the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) on Sunday as the area around the sect headquarters remained tense.

The Dera followers, numbering five to six, chased the media team and assaulted them after stopping them near the sect headquarters, about eight kilometres from Sirsa town.

The attackers tried to snatch the camera of the team and damaged it. The media team got minor injuries in the attack before they were rescued by security forces in the vicinity.

However, the miscreants took away the car of the media team. The car, which contained equipment, was later recovered by the police.

Dera followers had attacked the media in Panchkula on Friday after the rape case verdict against the sect chief. Media outdoor broadcasting (OB) vehicles were set on fire by mobs of Dera followers.

Tension prevailed in and around the sect headquarters on Sunday with security forces still stationed close to it.

A large number of Dera followers continued to come to the sprawling campus on Sunday despite appeals by security forces and the administration to vacate the premises.

On August 25, CBI special court judge Jagdeep Singh held the Dera chief, who has lakhs of followers mainly in Punjab and Haryana, guilty of raping and sexually exploiting two female disciples in 2002.

The areas affected by violence in Haryana and Punjab remained peaceful on Sunday even though security forces remained on high alert in both states, officials said.

Curfew was withdrawn in Panchkula, adjoining Chandigarh which saw the maximum violence on Friday following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

Curfew was withdrawn in Kaithal town in Haryana and relaxed in Sirsa town, 260 km from here.

The death toll in the violence has gone up to 36. Of these, 30 died in Panchkula while six died in Sirsa town. Over 250 people were injured in the violence.

The sect chief was shifted to a prison near Rohtak town (about 70 km from Delhi). The prison has been put under heavy security. The quantum of punishment in the case will be pronounced on Monday at a special court being set up in the prison premises.

The judge will be flown to Rohtak on Monday for announcing the sentence.

First Published | 27 August 2017 1:11 PM
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