The bandh call given by Damdami Taksal (Ajnala) and other Sikh organisations to express solidarity with former militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa and his demand for release of Sikh prisoners who have completed their sentence evoked a lukewarm response in Amritsar and other districts in the region.
Shops around the Golden Temple were closed in the morning, but as the day wore most markets and bazaars opened for business. Business and life at other localities in Amritsar remained normal.
No incident of forcible closure of shops was witnessed in the city. Activists of the Damdami Taksal (Ajnala) and some other groups assembled near the Golden Temple and planned to hold a march through the bazaars. However, a vigilant police, present in numbers, prevented the protesters from doing so.
The protesters who raised slogans in the favour of Sikh detainees and demanded their release were rounded up by the Amritsar Police near the Shani Mandir.
"We were here to hold a peaceful protest march, but the police did not allow us to do so. The Punjab government wanted to foil our plans," said Amrik Singh, head, Damdami Taksal (Ajnala).
"The city remained totally peaceful and no incident of forcible closure was witnessed. We detained over a dozen people during the day and all were let off later," said Amritsar police commissioner Ishwar Chander.
The commissioner had directed the cops to foil any attempt at violence. "We were geared up to face any situation and in the morning itself, we prevented a march by the acitivists."
The Amritsar Police had deployed three extra companies of Punjab Armed Police and around 100 police personnel from the Border Range areas had been called in.
No impact in Gurdaspur
All shops and business centres functioned normally. Trains and road transport was also unaffected, as the police had put in tight security arrangements.