Sikh protests continue over Granth Sahib’s desecration

Chandigarh, Oct 18 (IANS) Sikh protesters continued to block roads in Punjab’s Malwa region on Sunday to protest against the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, the holy scripture of Sikh religion.

The blockade, however, was reduced to one location in each district from Sunday instead of several locations.

Protest leaders said the road blockade would be from 10.00 a.m. to 1.00 p.m. so that ordinary people, particularly motorists, do not suffer much inconvenience.

The protesters carried black flags and placards and brandished swords and sticks.

The blockade, in the past week, had affected life in Malwa region. The worst hit were Moga, Faridkot and Bathinda districts, police said.

The protests, called by radical Sikh groups, are against the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib. The protesters want action against those involved in the desecration.

A ‘bir’ (holy book) was desecrated in Bargari village, 15 km from Kotkapura, leading to tension on October 12. Over 100 pages of the Sikh holy book were found scattered on a street near a gurdwara. The holy book had been stolen from a gurdwara in June.

At least two people were killed and nearly 70 injured, including police officials, on Wednesday in clashes between police and Sikhs near Kotkapura town in Faridkot district, 230 km from here.

The two victims are yet to be cremated.

In Amritsar, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Saturday offered prayers at ‘Harmandar Sahib’, popularly known as Golden Temple, for peace and communal harmony.

Congress leader Amarinder Singh on Saturday visited the families of the two people killed in police firing.

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