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Dera Sacha Sauda follower succumbs to burns

Special Correspondent

JAIPUR: Dera Sacha Sauda sect follower Bhagwan Das who tried to commit self immolation at Pilibanga in Hanumangarh district the previous day died in the Sawai Man Singh here on Friday afternoon. Das was brought here the previous night with 96 per cent burns.

As the Dera followers, who massed in the tehsil town of Pilibanga, waited for the body of the 45-year-old Das-- which was on its way from here-- the authorities deployed a large number of police personnel to maintain the law and order. The entire district is under prohibitory orders and the Collector and the Superintendent of Police are camping in the town.

Das, a cloth merchant in Pilibanga’s Tah Bazar, had tried to commit self immolation in protest against the stand of the Sub Divisional Magistrate on a complaint the Dera followers had made on the Sikh “Dharmik diwan”(religious discourse) held in the nearby Lakhowali village. The complaint pertained the sale of certain literature at the discourse venue, which allegedly denigrated the Dera chief, Ram Rahim Singh.

“The situation is under control. We are trying to talk to the family members of the victim to an reach an agreement on the cremation,” Mugda Sinha, Collector, Hanumangarh, said talking to The Hindu on phone from Pilibanga. “The body is on its way and the cremation is to be held on Saturday,” she said.

The CPI has sought the removal of Pilibanga SDM Surendra Singh Meena and the SHOr of the local police station charging them with overlooking the sensitive nature of the issue. “Pilibanga has been a peaceful place so far. There are communal elements active here now. The administration will be making a mistake if its takes the situation lightly,” Sahibram Punia, CPI leader , said.

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