In spite of the call given by Sikh religious leaders on Saturday to lift dharnas, people continued to hold them at Bargari, Behbal Kalan and Panjgrain Kalan villages on Sunday. Shops in Bargari village were open, but protesters blocked the Bathinda-Kotkapura road. However, they allowed some vehicles to pass.
The day-long dharna was also held at the Bathinda road near Behbal Kalan village, where the firing incident had taken place killing two people.
A 24-hour dharna is being held on the Moga road because Akhand path started on Saturday morning and the ‘bhog’ would be performed on Monday morning.
Most of the main roads in the district, including Bathinda, Moga and Sadiq roads, remained blocked on the fifth day on Sunday leading to huge convenience to commuters.
However, public participation in the dharna Bargari village dropped considerably after Sikh leaders announced 3- hour symbolic dharnas only at one place in the district.
But, no heavy vehicles as buses and trucks could ply on the roads and most of the markets wore a deserted look as the people now preferred to stay home by curtailing their routine activities. Only cars and two-wheelers were used by the people through village link roads to reach their destinations.
“No religious leaders reached us and we shall continue our dharna till ‘bhog’ ceremonies of the two killed in police firing were performed. We also demanding a judicial inquiry into the incident. Today, we allowed two-wheelers to pass for the convenience of the people,” said Gurpreet Singh from Behbal Kalan.
“Most of the schools and private educational institutes have been closed since the firing incident on Wednesday due to road blockades,” he said.
If road blockades continued for more days, farmers may have to suffer as now most of the long-duration varieties of paddy have matured and they would face the problem of paddy transportation to the grain markets besides lifting the produce from mandis.