ON DUSSEHRA day, Sikh protesters who had blocked traffic at Tarksheel Chowk in Barnala burnt effigies of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh and Barnala’s SAD (rural) president Paramjit Singh. The protesters blocked traffic for nearly three hours before calling off the dharna. Meanwhile, a few protests were called off in parts of Malwa area and arrangements were made on one side of the road for commuters to travel.
At Ajitwal in Moga district, villagers of nearby areas had an argument with the protesters. The blockade on Ludhiana- Ferozepur Road was subsequently lifted. It was a similar situation at Mehal Kalan, Barnala district where protesters, even as the dharna continued, gave way to commuters. The dharnas are slated to continue till October 24. There will be no dharna on October 25 as masses have to reach Bargari village for the bhog ceremony of the two persons killed in police firing recently, Sikh organisations said.
A 24-hour dharna at Dhanaula, Sangrur, was also lifted Thursday and so was at Sekha chowk, in Barnala. However, a dharna on Barnala-Moga Road at Pakho Kenchian entered its sixth day today.
Protesters are also sitting at Harike Pattan in Ferozepur for more than five days where banner of Khalistan was also seen once. They have blocked the bridge of Beas that leads to Amritsar. The dharna is led by SAD (A).
The 24×7 dharnas in Amritsar continued Thursday as well, on routes such as Amritsar-Tarn Taran Road which is NH1, Tarn Taran bypass that connects Majha area to Malwa and the third is at Beas Bridge, yet another route to enter Malwa.
Apart from this, traffic was blocked at six areas in Faridkot. At Panjgrain Khurd, a huge dharna was organised to protest the arrest of brothers Rupinder and Jaswinder on charges of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village. A dharna was also organised at Nasrala village on Hoshairpur-Jalandhar Road while NH1 was blocked at Phagwara.
Asked about the large number of protests in his constituency, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann said, “The public are taking to the streets irrespective of party lines. It is high time to declare President’s rule in the state.”
Meanwhile, in Sangrur, protesters demanded the resignations of CM Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal.
AAP MP Sadhu Singh from Faridkot said: The state government has failed on every front. Trouble started from Faridkot when on June 1 the Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from gurdwara of Burj Jawahar. Had the case been handled properly, Punjab would have been peaceful.”