***SIKH P.A NOTE***
This article discredits the Sikh peaceful protest by labelling Damdami Taksal and Gurmat Sidhant Parcharak Sant Samaj “radicals”. Calling for a peaceful protest in a democratic nation does not warrant being labelled as a radical.
CHANDIGARH: Commercial and educational establishments were on Thursday shut and transport services disrupted in parts of Punjab in response to a bandh called by Sikh outfits against the killing of two youths and police action during protests over alleged desecration of their holy book.
Officials said an uneasy calm prevailed in parts of the state where activists held protests and blocked roads. 150 protestors were taken into custody when they tried to hold a demonstration in Ludhiana.
Heavy police force has been deployed at sensitive places to maintain law and order, a day after two persons were killed and 75 others, including an IGP, were injured in clashes in Faridkot, Moga and Sangrur districts.
To protest the killing and police action, radicals, including Damdami Taksal and Gurmat Sidhant Parcharak Sant Samaj had given a ‘Punjab bandh’ call for today.
In response to the bandh call, commercial and educational institutes at many places in Punjab especially Faridkot, Moga, Muktsar, parts of Tarn Taran remained shut. However, banks and pharmacies were open.
Kotkapura town – the nerve centre of protest on Wednesday- also observed a complete bandh.
“No incident of violence has been reported from any part of Moga, Faridkot and Muktsar,” police said.
Private bus operators kept off the roads today while private educational institution remained closed in many parts of the state, officials said.