Life in the city has been disrupted due to a shutdown called by Sikh organisations to protest the desecration of a ‘bir’ of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Shops were closed and public transport affected as protesters demanded action against those responsible for tearing more than 100 pages of the Sikh holy book at Bargari village in Faridkot district on Monday.
The pages, found scattered on a street, were torn allegedly from a ‘bir’ that was stolen from a nearby village, Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, in June.
There were heated arguments at some places as a few protesters, brandishing swords, forced shopkeepers to shut shop on Thursday.
Nearly 200 members of various organisations started their protest march from Basti Adda Chowk around 10 pm.
The demonstration traversed several markets, including Jyoti Chowk, Rainak Bazar, Shikha Bazar, Milap Chowk, Phagwara Gate, Adda Hoshiarpur market and Dr Ambedkar Chowk.
Chanting pro-Khalistan and anti-Badal government slogans, the protesters also forced closure of several outlets, including a Vodafone showroom and a McDonald’s during the protest march.
The protest at PAP Chowk also affected the Sada-e-Sarhad international bus between Lahore and Delhi which had to take a detour from Rama Mandi to move towards Amritsar.
Police were deployed in strength to prevent violence. ADCP-I J Elanchezhian, ADCP (special branch) Harpreet Singh Mander, ACP central DD Sharma, ACP West RPS Sandhu and several SHOs moved with the protesters across the markets.