As the news spread about torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib being recovered from a Jalandhar canal, activists of the local Sikh Talmel Committee gathered at the Kapurthala Chowk on the Jalandhar-Kapurthala highway around 10am. The gathering of 150-odd people started prayers at the spot after pitching tents in the middle of the road. Raising slogans against the state government, they demanded immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the sacrilege.
Heavy police force led by additional deputy commissioners of police (ADCPs) was rushed to the spot. Traffic coming from Kapurthala was diverted towards 120 Feet Road and police teams were stationed at several spots to ease the flow.
Administrative and police officials also met a 25-member delegation of the protesters and tried to convince them to lift the blockade, but to no avail.
Sikh Talmel Committee head Jagjit Singh Gaba said they will not lift the blockade till all the accused are arrested. Amritsar-based Satkar Committee chief Sukhjit Singh Khosa besides some local councillors also joined the protest during the day. Leaders of the right-wing Hindu outfit Shiv Sena also reached the spot. The protesters asked the cops to nab the accused instead of keeping vigil at the protest site.
The protesters were holding kirtan after installing loudspeakers at the time of filing of this report. Some Sikh organisations had also arranged ‘langar’ for the protesters.
Police, meanwhile, have stopped vehicles from moving towards Kapurthala Chowk. Only ambulances are being allowed to go through as a number of hospitals are located in the area.