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Protest in Odisha over violence after Dera chief conviction

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Puri:  Condemning the violence that broke out in Punjab and Haryana after the Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS) chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh was found guilty in a rape case, a group of people staged protest in front of a Dera ashram in Odisha’s Puri today.

According to reports, a heated argument ensued between the locals and some members of the ashram located on the Puri-Konark Marine drive in the pilgrim city.

Some members of Puri Sachetana Nagarika Mancha gathered in front of the ashram and raised slogans against the violence carried out by the Dera supporters. Tension erupted after some members of the Dera ashram here shouted back at the locals.

Meanwhile, anticipating further flare up in the situation, police personnel rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

Policemen were deployed at the Dera ashram here and keeping a close vigil on the movements of people, sources said.

In a related development, the East Coast Railways (ECoR) has cancelled Visakhapatnam-Amritsar Hirakud Express via Bhubaneswar as Dera supporters are on a rampage in Delhi, Punjab and Haryana leaving 30 killed and over 200 injured.

Around 250 trains enroute to Delhi, Haryana and Punjab were cancelled and all trains from Odisha to Punjab, Jammu & Kashmir will stop at New Delhi due to violence, railway sources said.