After 11 days, people heaved a sigh of relief on Monday, with normalcy returning to Tarn Taran district, which had been witnessing blockade on Harike bridge and Jandiala Chowk of Tarn Taran city on the Amritsar-Sri Ganganagar national highway.
The protesters were on dharna on these places in protest against the sacrilege of holy ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib and suspension of the “Panj Pyaras” of Akal Takht. After reinstatement of the “Panj Pyaras” by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) on Sunday evening, both the dharnas were lifted.
However, the stir left some unforgettable memories. The protesters cut a large number of trees to block the road and use it as barricades. After lifting of dharnas on Harike headworks, Jandiala Chowk, Tarn Taran and Beas river bridge at Goindwal Sahib, the administration had to face difficulties in removing these trees and branches from the roads and bridges. The authorities even had to arrange for JCB machines to clean up the roads for normal traffic.
On Sunday, Tarn Taran deputy commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal and SSP Manmohan Sharma were present at Harike to oversee the work of making the road and bridge available for the passengers. Still, some work of sanitation was in progress on the national highway.
On Monday, sub-divisional magistrate of Zira, Ferozepur, Jarnail Singh also visited the headworks and analysed the spot. He said as many as 40 policemen would be deployed here permanently.
Pertinently, locals helped the administration in this task as they were suffering a lot due to the blockades. Shopkeepers, whose outlets are situated in markets of Jandiala Chowk and Harike, and other stakeholders whose commercial interests were largely affected by the stirs, were seen eager to open the roads and they began to remove the obstacles as soon as the protesters agreed to lift the dharnas.
Drivers of trucks and tippers full of goods and grain got a big relief, as they were stuck at the dharna spots for the last 11 days. As soon as the dharnas were lifted, they left for their destinations.
The dharnas also gave sleepless nights to district officials, especially the policemen as protesters carried sharp-edged weapons and any action against them could turn into a bloody clash. However, the police handled the situation effectively and waited for normalcy to return in the region.