The Punjab bandh call by Sikh organizations led by All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) received a mixed response in the different parts of the state on Saturday. While it was almost completely implemented in Doaba region, Majha and Malwa regions witnessed a mixed response.
In Amritsar, the Punjab Police arrested All India Sikh Students Federation (AISSF) president Karnail Singh Peermohammad, who had given the Bandh call against the injustice meted out to victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, Kashmir Singh of the Danga Peerat Society, Bibi Jagdish Kaur (victim, survivor and witness of riots) Bibi Majit Kaur (Head of Bhai Fauja Singh Trust) and dozens other Sikh activists from a bus stand as they were planning to stop the Amritsar-Delhi Shatabadi Express.
They were arrested at around 4:30 am while they were heading towards Amritsar railway station by a police team led by ACP Central Manminder Singh. Police said that they were arrested as a preventive measure and would be released late evening.
There are reports that the police stopped some Sikhs at Jauda railway crossing while they were attempting to block the railway track. In Amritsar, shops near the Golden Temple were opened but Hall Bazaar was closed. There was partial response from Gurdaspur. In Doaba Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Phagwara there was an almost complete bandh as all shops and business establishments, except medical and liquor stores, were closed. Ludhiana witnessed partial bandh but trains were stopped at Ludhiana railway station in the morning. Moga witnessed a complete bandh. The Chandigarh-Amritsar train was stopped at Jalandhar. No violence was reported till the time of this report as heavy police was deployed in the cities.
Sikh activists brandishing the swords were moving on the motorcycles and open jeeps to get shops in the markets closed, in the morning. Most of the public transport vehicles including state-owned buses also remained off the roads and there was comparatively less traffic on National Highway 1.
In neighbouring Haryana, about a dozen express and passenger trains were detained at the Ambala Cantonment railway station in view of the agitation by the Punjab Sikh Students Federation in Punjab. The Delhi-Ludhiana express train was cancelled. A large number of passengers remained stranded. The station manager Sher Singh said that the rail traffic was restored in the evening and that trains were running normally.