Deep-rooted conspiracy behind Punjab turmoil: Badal

Gurdaspur (Punjab), Oct 18 (IANS) Amid tension in many parts of Punjab following the desecration of the Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said he saw a “deep-rooted conspiracy by some powerful forces” trying to revive militancy in the state.

Badal said “some forces inimical to the state were hell-bent on destroying the hard-won peace in Punjab”.

“It is part of a deep-rooted conspiracy on behalf of some powerful forces who are trying to repeat the black days (of militancy) in the state,” Badal told media persons after a function in Dadu Jodh village of Gurdaspur district.

“Such agencies had divided the people on sectarian lines in the past also. Now again, they are trying to create a wedge between the people by fanning such incidents. But it is the moral duty of every Punjabi to defeat their nefarious designs by keeping a strict vigil at every religious place across the state,” Badal said.

Violence in parts of south-west Punjab, following the sacrilege incident, has left two people dead and many others injured. The Malwa belt has remained tense, amid protests and road blockades in the last one week.

The protests have been led by radical Sikh groups.

The chief minister appealed to all political parties to join hands in thwarting any attempt at pushing the state back into religious turbulence.

Punjab had witnessed a bloody phase of militancy from 1981 to 1995.

Badal called upon the people to shun the path of agitation, which was causing a lot of harassment to the general public.

“The state government will make every effort to ensure that the perpetrators of the heinous crime of committing sacrilege are brought to book. The desecration of Guru Granth Sahib has tormented the psyche of every Sikh but we must exercise restraint in this hour of crisis to foil the attempts of divisive forces to derail the progress and prosperity in the state,” Badal added.

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