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Madan Lal, a man who witnessed 'curfew' in Punjab after 33 years
The moment the word curfew flashes, it creates terror, tension and anxiety. One feels compelled to know as to what could be the exact cause behind its imposition despite having some vague idea about the things happening in the city, state or nation.

The terror is because of the fact that people of Punjab and various other states have witnessed the 1984 riots when curfews were imposed for long hours with relaxation of just a few hours to enable the locals to buy their daily need items, like food and medicine.

It is obvious that anything can happen when anti-social elements take advantage of the situation and disturb the peace of common people.

An old timer, Madan Lal, 82, a retired teacher, whom I met after the curfew was imposed after 33 years in the border town of Ferozepur post the announcement of verdict on Dera Sacha Sauda chief, said that it had refreshed his memories of 1984.

Madan Lal has witnessed curfews from the time of India's partition in 1947 to the anti-Sikh riots of 1984.

It was on the evening of August 25 when a message was flashed informing the imposition of curfew in Ferozepur, for the first time since 1984, following the conviction of Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a rape case dating back to 2002.

No doubt, the curfew has been lifted after reviewing the situation which is normal now but the imposition of curfew was a wise step as a precautionary measure to avoid any untoward incidents of arson. More than 30 people were killed in the violence at Panchkula where the CBI's special court had announced its judgment, besides loss of public and government property.

The most affected in this incident were daily earners like the labour class, rickshaw walas etc, and the students who have been put back by at least one week's syllabus.

The internet services were also suspended to avoid spreading of any rumours on social media which worked to a greater extent in curbing violence.

Later, when the quantum of judgment on Dera chief was announced on August 28, the situation could once again have become worst following angry reactions from the followers of Dera Sachha Sauda, but fortunately, no such violence took place.

Madan Lal says that there is a lot of difference between the earlier curfews and the one that was imposed now. Earlier, there used to be too much strictness for violation of curfew but this time, the curfew seemed just like a preventive measure.

But it still reminded him of 1984, when curfew was imposed after the assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi when thousands of Sikhs were massacred in retribution.

However, he said that it is not a good indication for Punjab which has already suffered a lot in the past and peace has been restored after sacrificing many human lives. The government must come forward to address any situation so that the common man is not affected.

The Panchkula incident has shaken one and all in the country which led to over 30 deaths, besides causing inconvenience to the public after suspension of rail and bus services, putting a huge loss on the government exchequer, he added.

Each and every class has condemned the act of the followers of the Dera against the ethics of the teachings of their guru. Let the law take its own course and the people should focus on the development of the state, said Madan Lal in a depressed mood over the incident.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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