The protest against the Punjab government for its failure to take action against culprits responsible for desecration of a ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib at several places across the city entered its fourth day in the city on Sunday. The entrance to the city, the Khanda Chowk, remained blocked inconveniencing commuters no end.
Protesters — mostly members of Sikh radical organisations — gathered at various places like Passiana road, Khanda Chowk and also at Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib at 10am, hitting traffic movement and normal life.
With the Khanda Chowk inaccessible, there was a major traffic jam with other narrow roads being flooded with vehicles. The Passiana road also remained blocked for around five hours.
Later in the day, protesters gathered outside the house of Punjab cabinet minister Surjit Singh Rakha at Nabha road in Patiala. Slogans were raised with the protesters also demanding the resignation of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.
All this while, a posse of policemen stood on standby and security was stepped up across the city.
Patiala SSP and other senior officers also remained on the road to ensure law and order was maintained. Superintendent of police Daljeet Singh Rana said no violence had been reported and the protests remained peaceful.
Protesters outside the Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib were seen reciting hymns.
Some protesters, not wishing to be named, claimed that till the state government was not able to handle the situation, presidential rule could be imposed in the state.
“If SGPC members fail to protest against the recent incidents by resigning, we would protest outside the houses of Punjab cabinet ministers and SGPC members,” a protester claimed.
Traffic blocked at entrance to city
With protesters also blocking the entrance to the city — the Khanda Chowk — traffic was diverted from Gurdwara Dukhniwaran Sahib to the the Barandari Bagh.
However, with cops not allowing heavy vehicles to enter the city to take roads leading to Sirhind, Rajpura and Sangrur, chaos was the order of the day in the outer areas of the city. Commuters also suffered as the road leading to the Khanda Chowk from the bus terminal also remained blocked till 3pm.