Sikhs continue protests in Punjab’s Malwa over desecration
Chandigarh, Oct 17 (IANS) Hundreds of Sikhs continued to block roads in the Malwa belt of south-west Punjab on Saturday to protest a recent incident of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib.
The protestors blocked roads in Moga and Bathinda districts and demanded action against those involved in the desecration of the Sikh holy book.
A ‘bir’ (holy book) was desecrated in Bargari village, 15 km from Kotkapura, leading to tension in the area on Monday. Over 100 pages of the Sikh holy book were found scattered in a street near a gurdwara. The holy book was stolen from a gurdwara in June.
Meanwhile, tension continued to prevail in parts of south-west Punjab on Saturday as well.
Some roads, including state highways, were blocked by the protestors carrying black flags and placards. Some youths brandished swords and sticks.
In Moga town, commercial establishments and educational institutions remained closed.
At least two people were killed and nearly 70 injured, including police officials, on Wednesday in bloody clashes between police and protesting Sikhs near Kotkapura town in Punjab’s Faridkot district, 230 km from here.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal offered prayers at ‘Harmandar Sahib’, popularly known as Golden Temple, in Amritsar on Saturday for peace and communal harmony in the state.
“I have come here to pray for peace and amity in Punjab,” Badal told reporters.
Badal said some forces inimical to Punjab’s progress were hell bent upon destroying the hard earned peace in the state.
Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Amarinder Singh, on Saturday visited the families of the two people killed in police firing near Kotkapura earlier this week.
Blaming the Badal government for the current situation in the state, Amarinder accused Badal of “shedding crocodile tears over the incidents, particularly when he is himself responsible for whatever is happening in Punjab today”.
“By visiting Darbar Sahab (Golden Temple) today (Saturday), after setting Punjab on fire, Badal cannot wash off his sins of omission and commission and the people will hold him accountable for it,” the former chief minister said.