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Protests spreads in Punjab over Jaipur incident

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Aug 23 (UNI) Sikh activists agitated over alleged chopping of the hair of a Sikh teenager in Jaipur held demonstrations across the state today with many towns observing Bandh, while in Amritsar agitators stopped two Jaipur-bound buses from leaving the bus stand.

A report from Amritsar said activists of the Sikh Youth Federation of Bhindranwale and Damdami Taksal Gurnam Singh Bandala group forcibly stopped two state-run buses from leaving for Jaipur.

They gheraoed the bus-stand, shouted slogans and declared that they will not allow any bus to ply for Rajasthan unless the Rajasthan government takes stern action against the culprits.

Minor clashes and verbal duels were witnessed in Jalandhar city as various Sikh and religious organisations held demonstrations and dharna in protest against the Jaipur incident.

The protesters accused the police of resorting to brutal lathicharge but the police denied it. Touble began when demonstrators forced shopkeepers to down their shutters in several areas, including Phulanwalan Chowk and Pir Baba Chowk area in the city. Minor clashes and verbal duels led to confrontation with police resorting to baton charge.

Activists of various outfits including Shiromani Akali Dal(SAD), Shiromani Akali Dal(Amritsar) and BJP participated in today's demonstration and dharna.

Sikh organisations also observed a Phagwara Bandh over the issue.

Though a complete Bandh was witnessed in the town, various groups of Sikh Youths along with few Shiv Sena Leaders went on a round of the town on motorcycles. A few of the protesters ransacked a shop. Tension prevailed at local Railway Road, Kherra Road, Hoshiarpur Road and Banga Road when lathi-weilding and slogan shouting protestors tried to close the shops forcibly.

Almost all schools of the town remained closed, few of them were forcibly closed by the agitators.

Meanwhile, the Sikh Students Federation (SSF) and the youth-wing of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) have given a joint call for a bandh in Amritsar to protest against the ''atrocities'' committed against the community members outside the state.

Groups of Sikh activists went around markets telling the shopkeepers to keep markets shut tomorrow. The police have taken precautionary measures to avert any untoward incident, SSP S S Srivastava told UNI.

UNI JN PB PC2243

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