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Delhi-Lahore bus stopped, curfew imposed in Ludhiana

National,Diaspora,Religion, Mon, 25 May 2009 IANS

Ludhiana, May 25 (IANS) The Delhi-Lahore bus service 'Sada-e-Sarhad' was stopped by authorities in Punjab's industrial city of Ludhiana Monday following large-scale violent protests by Dera Sachh Khand sect followers in the state, opposing the attack on sect leaders in the Austrian capital Vienna.


The bus, on its way from Delhi to Lahore, was stopped at a police station in Ludhiana for security reasons, government sources said here.



There were passengers from India and Pakistan, on the bus but they were safe, the officials added.



Curfew was imposed in Ludhiana and the industrial town of Phagwara, 40 km from here, following violence by protesters, who are from the Dalit Sikh community and followers of Guru Ravidass, after a senior sect leader died of his injuries following a clash in the Vienna gurdwara Sunday.



Members of the sect laid siege to National Highway No. 1 from Delhi to Amritsar. The stretch of the highway between Ludhiana and Jalandhar, 60 km from here, was blocked at several places.



Hundreds of people were stranded on NH-1 at various places and on several other highways and roads due to road blocks and violence.



With violent incidents being reported from various places, including torching of buildings, trains and scores of public and private vehicles, curfew was imposed in Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Phagwara and Ludhiana.



The army and paramilitary forces were called out in Jalandhar to control the situation.



A sermon in the Vienna Sikh shrine, attended by women and children, turned bloody Sunday when five people brandished knives and a sixth fired from a pistol. The armed men were immediately overpowered by the devotees present and many were hurt in the tussle that followed.


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