Road blockades continue, but protesters’ presence decreases

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bathinda
  • Updated: Oct 20, 2015 21:43 IST
Sikhs protest against the alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Bathinda on Tuesday. (Sanjeev Kumar/HT Photo)

Continuing the protests at several locations in the region against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib on Tuesday, protesters blocked roads demanding arrest of those involved in the crime and the registration of a case against the policemen responsible for opening fire on the protesters at Behbal Kalan village in Faridkot district resulting in death of two people on Wednesday last.

In the district, people held a day-long protests at Kot Shamir, Talwandi Sabo, Maur and Rampura Phul. Though the presence of people in the protests has come down compared to the initial days, yet a substantial number of people are joining the protests. Normal life remained disrupted and fewer vehicles were seen on the roads.

Meanwhile, a sort of scuffle also ensued between two factions of protesters at Rampura Phul. Supporters of Sikh religious preacher Panthpreet Singh and the other faction, led by SAD (A) district president Parminder Singh Balianwali, had heated exchanges. The Panthpreet Singh faction was asking the protesters to lift the blockade at 1 pm, according to the schedule announced by them to hold three-hour protest daily at one location, but the other faction was adamant on carrying on the road blockade throughout the day.

Defying the panthic organisations’ decision, protesters continued the protest throughout the day. However, the protests at Goniana and on the Bathinda-Malout road were lifted at 1pm.

In Muktsar district, protesters continued the road blockade at Khyowalai village on the Bathinda-Dabwali road, Jandanwala on the Bathida-Malout road, Kothe Chet Singh on the Bathinda-Muktsar road, Ladduwal on the Mutsar-Jalalabad road, Rupana on the Muktsar-Malout road, at Jhindwala on the Muktsar–Abohar road, Bharu on the Gidderbaha–Kotbhai road and at Abul Khurana village on the Malout-Dabwali road.

Though blockades at other places, except Khyowali and Jandanwala, were lifted in the afternoon as per the call by panthic organisations. In Faridkot district. the protests continued at Bargari, Sadak, Faridkot, Panjgrain Kalan and in Tehna village.

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