Partial bandh observed in Punjab, Haryana on Amarnath issue

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Chandigarh, Jul 3 (UNI) A partial bandh was observed in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh Union Territory today to protest revocation of the land allotment to Amarnath Shrine Board in Jammu and Kashmir.

The bandh, observed in response to the "Bharat Bandh" call given by the Bharatiya Janata Party and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was peaceful in the twin states so far, official reports received here said.

Shops and commercial establishments remained closed at several places where the BJP-VHP activists took out processions. However, chemist shops and educational institutions were open. Except for stray incidents of road blockade, traffic was plying normally.

In Punjab, a complete bandh was observed in Jalandhar town where shopkeepers downed their shutters at Ronak Bazar, Hira Gate, Model town, Lajpai Rai Market, Phagwara Gate and Civil lines. At some places processions were taken out by the activists.

At Gaspura on the outskirts of Ludhiana, BJP supporters held a dharna on the rail line while another group blocked traffic on the Delhi-Amritsar highway at Samrala Chowk. Kirpan-weilding supporters forcibly closed shops in areas near the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

Shops were also closed in Arya Samaj area, Arna Baran chowk and some parts of Adalat Bazar in Patiala town. Bajrang Dal and Shiv Sena activists attacked Subikhsa showroom in Rajpura while forcing its closure and broke the glass windowpanes of the showroom, a report from Patiala said. However, police dispersed them.

Bajrang Dal and Shiv sena activists blocked the Amritsar- New Delhi road near Shambu on the Punjab and Haryana border, resulting in pile up of buses and other vehicles on the road.

A complete bandh was observed in Kapurthala town as all commercial establishments remained closed. Agitators damaged a grocery shop at jatpura locality in the town when its owner refused to close the shop. The agitators took out a protest march in the bazaars of the town, appealing the shopkeepers to observe a complete bandh .

In Haryana, bazars were closed in Hissar, Barwala, Hansi and Uklana towns in Hissar district. BJP, VHP and Bajrang Dal activists held demonstration in Hissar town and forced closure of shops.

The bandh was total in Karnal, Jagadhri and Yamunanagar and partial in Ambala City and Ambala Cantt areas. The bandh call evoked a mixed response in Fatehabad town where shops and business establishments were closed in the morning but more than 70 percent of these shops had by afternoon.

In Chandigarh, shopkeepers downed their shutters in some sectors but traffic was plying normally.

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