SIKH activists blocked traffic on NH-1 for seven hours as the protests, against the sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing that killed two people, continued on Saturday. Traffic was also blocked on the Kartarpur and Pathankot state highways as the protesters sat on the road from morning. There was a large posse of policemen at both sites but they remained mute spectators.
In Phagwara, the protesters sat near Sugarmill Chowk at 10:30 am and even blocked the service lanes along the highway. They lifted the dharna at 5:30 pm after getting an assurance that the Kapurthala deputy commissioner would meet them on Sunday.
The protesters said they would restart their protests at 11 am on Monday if they are not satisfied in the meeting with the DC. The blockade left a huge number of commuters facing harassment as traffic was diverted from various places to avoid the deadly jams on the highway.
It may be noted that over the past month, the Delhi-Amritsar NH-1, a busy route, has been blocked around half a dozen times by various organizations of farmers and Sikhs. The protesters were also demanding the resignation of SGPC member from Phagwara S S Kular.
Stir continues in Tarn Taran
The protests also continued in Tarn Taran, known as the Panthic district. The road link between Majha and Malwa remained disconnected for the third day in row as large number of protesters have occupied the bridge over the Satluj river. Around 500 policemen reached the bridge but turned back later.
Three of four MLAs representing the district are from Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) along with the MP from the Khadoor Sahib constituency. However, district administration was in dilemma about with whom they should start negotiation to break the deadlock. No SAD leader come forward to pacify protesters.
With inputs from Kamaldeep Singh Brar