Punjab bandh evokes mixed response

Last Updated: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 13:38

Chandigarh: A day-long radical Sikhs
organisations’ sponsored Punjab bandh to protest the killing of
a demonstrator in alleged police firing in Ludhiana evoked a
mixed response on Monday.

Shops, commercial establishments and educational
institutions, including schools, are completely closed in many
parts of the state, officials said.

The bandh is peaceful so far as no untoward incident was
reported from any part of the state, officials said, adding
the rail and road traffic was plying normally.

Reports of complete shut down of shops, schools and other
commercial institutions have been received from Amritsar,
Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Patiala,
Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

At some places like Jalandhar, Patiala, Faridkot, Bathinda
and Batala members owing allegiance to various Sikh outfits,
including Sikh Students Federation, forced several shop owners
to pull down shutters of their establishments.

Police have detained an Akali Councillor Kanwaljit Singh
Ghona and his five associates for allegedly adopting coercive
tactics by asking shopkeepers to close down their shops.

In Jalandhar at Milap chowk, a minor scuffle broke out
between police personnel and Sikhs who were forcing shop
owners to close shutters of their establishments, officials
said, adding that no one was injured in the milee.

Meanwhile in Ludhiana, the industrial hub of Punjab,
curfew remained clamped to prevent any untoward incident.

Police also conducted a flag march in Ludhiana to instill
confidence in the people of the city which faced violence for
two successive days from last Friday.

Supporters of Sant Samaj and Damdami Taksal, considered to
be hardliners, staged a protest march in Moga city. They also
blocked the highway leading to Amritsar for about two hours
and burnt effigies of Divya Jyoti Jagran Sansthan sect head
Ashutosh Maharaj.

They also demanded that a criminal case should be
registered against Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner and police
chief for their alleged failure to contain law and order
situation in the industrial town.

The security forces have taken all precautionary measures
and are guarding strategic points, officials said, adding that
patrolling had been intensified in the state.

The day-long Punjab bandh call has been given by radical
Sikh organisations, including Damdami Taksal and Sant Samaj,
to protest the killing of Darshan Singh at Ludhiana on
Saturday after police and some Sikhs objecting to a religious
congregation by Ashutosh Maharaj clashed.

PTI



First Published: Monday, December 7, 2009 - 13:38

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