Tension gripped parts of the town after the management of Sri Guru Harkrishan Public School, Mission Road, reportedly razed a gurdwara on the school premises in the wee hours of Friday. Even as the management — later in the day — claimed that it would construct another gurdwara at a cost of Rs 2 crore on the premises, agitated locals and members of some radical Sikh organisations reached the spot and clashed with school security staff and other members of the management. As the news spread, more people rushed to the spot. Sensing trouble, the school declared a holiday.
Pathankot DC Sukhvinder Singh and SSP RK Bakshi also reached the spot with a posse of policemen and prevented the clash from turning into a major law and order issue.
The police, though, are yet to register a case against anyone.
Even as the police managed to clear the scene around the school, some protesters, later, assembled at the Balmiki Chowk and blocked traffic with women squatting on the road and singing devotional songs.
They were later joined by devotees from Amritsar, who had arrived packed in three jeeps after hearing of the incident.
Kirpal Singh, the caretaker of the gurdwara, claimed, “The school management has demolished the gurdwara to join its land with the school. The gurdwara managers and the school are locked in tussle over the ownership and possession of the land on which the gurdwara stood with the next hearing in the district court on September 21. It is intended to grab the land.”
He said a team from the Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (SGPC) would be in town on Saturday and action would be taken against members of the school management committee.