The Punjab bandh call given by Dhian Singh Mand, who was appointed ‘Jathedar’ of the Akal Takht by the recently held ‘Sarbat Khalsa’, fizzled out on Monday. According to reports, shops, commercial and other establishments and educational institutions functioned normally.
In Amritsar, it was business as usual and no untoward incident was reported. Police commissioner Jatinder Aulakh had held a detailed meeting with his officers on Sunday night and told them to maintain a tight vigil in the wake of the bandh call. As the day started, heavy deployment of cops was made in and around the city. Apart from Punjab Police personnel, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police men were also seen guarding the major areas of the city. Special security arrangements were made in the areas around the Golden Temple.
Throughout the day, the shops and educational institutes remained open while the local public transport functioned smoothly.
“We were very clear that nobody will be allowed to move out on the roads with swords and forcibly get the shops closed. Officers were instructed about this on Sunday night and the same was followed on Monday.” The police and the paramilitary forces remained alert throughout the day and three persons were detained during the raids, said Aulakh. Since morning, cops had laid nakas at key locations to check vehicles and keep tabs on suspicious persons Reports from many other parts of Punjab, including Mohali, Ropar, Phagwara, Fatehgarh Sahib, Sangrur, Ludhiana and Hoshiarpur stated that the ‘bandh’ fizzled out and things functioned as per their normal routine.
Talking to media here last week, Mand had appealed to the Sikh community to extend support to the bandh call against the alleged hegemony, autocratic and anti-Panthic attitude of the Parkash Singh Badal government.
Meanwhile, reports said that police on Monday detained several Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) activists at many places, including Fatehgarh Sahib, Phagwara, Sangrur and Hoshiarpur as a preventive measure, before being let off later. Police sources said two leaders of SAD (A) were detained in Phagwara as a preventive measure while six other activists were rounded up in Hoshiarpur. Rajinder Singh Fauji, a state executive committee member of SAD(A) and Gurdial Singh Mannawali, a senior party leader, were picked up from their residences at village Narangshahpur (Nawanpind) and Mannawali in Phagwara this morning as a preventive step, they said.
(with agency inputs)