Sikh protesters blocked the Jalandhar-Ludhiana-Barnala and Sri Ganganagar highways as the district observed a shutdown on Thursday to protest the desecration of a ‘bir’ of the Guru Granth Sahib.
Shops were closed and road traffic was affected.
Thousands of people marched on the roads and held dharnas at Main Chowk in Moga, besides Baghapurana, Ajitwal, Bhugipura Chowk, Lohara chowk and Fathegarh Road.
Brandishing swords and sticks, protesters chanted pro-Khalistan slogans as people came in groups from various villages to join the protests. The protesters included women as well.
Harinder Singh Khalsa, a protester at Bhugipura Chowk said, “We are protesting against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and police force against Sikhs protesters. When other organisations agitated, the state allowed them to do so, but Sikhs have been stopped.”
Protests against the desecration have engulfed the entire state since violence erupted in Kotkapura of Faridkot district, where two people died after police fired at protesters on Wednesday.
A member of the ruling Shiromani Akal Dali in Amritsar appealed to other communities to oppose the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib and the killing of Sikh protesters.
“We appeal to all communities for cooperation because Guru Granth Sahib is a vanguard of humanity. The Bani (holy poetry) of various sects is included in Guru Granth Sahib,” he said.