Commercial and other establishments in some places in Punjab remained shut even on Thursday following a bandh call given by some Sikh organisations to protest against the desecration of the Sikh holy book, the Guru Granth Sahib, and the violence on Wednesday that left two people dead and several others injured.
Sources said that the effect of the shutdown could be seen in Faridkot, Muktsar and some parts of Moga districts.
Sikh organisations protesting the desecration of the Sikh holy book and the subsequent violence in some places this week called the bandh (shutdown).
At least two people were killed and nearly 70 injured, including police officials, on Wednesday in bloody clashes between police and Sikhs protesting against the desecration of the Sikh holy book, near Kotkapura town in Punjab’s Faridkot district, 230 km from here.
The police had to use lathis and water cannons to disperse protesters, even as the latter attacked cops with kirpans and torched police vehicles. The police were able to control the situation after the two-hour-long clash that also left Bathinda inspector general of police (IGP) Jitendra Jain injured.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ordered a judicial probe into the desecration of the Sikh holy book.
He described the whole incident as an outcome of a ‘deep-rooted’ conspiracy.
He said, “The desecration of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji is a deep-rooted conspiracy aimed at inciting communal tension and destabilising the hard-won peace in Punjab. I humbly urge all of you to maintain restraint in this hour of crisis.”
Former Punjab chief minister and Congress leader, Captain Amrinder Singh said Badal had lost control over the administration.
He said, “CM Parkash Singh Badal has virtually lost control over things and the state is drifting towards anarchy. Badal should better quit if he is not able to maintain control over things.”
Meanwhile, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday announced a Rs.1 crore reward to anyone giving information about those involved in the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village in Faridkot district.