The situation in Punjab turned out to be critical on Wednesday after a clash took place between the police and Sikh groups protesting over the torn pages of the holy book Guru Granth Sahib found spilled on the road that led to a gurdwara in Bargari, a village located in the Faridkot district.
The police fired batons and water cannons to scatter the protesters who gathered at Kotkapura, near Faridkot district and arrest the leaders of the group protesting. This act of dispersal injured nearly 12 policemen and huge damage was caused to four police vehicles. The injured were immediately taken to the Civil Hospital. The IGP of Bathinda, Jitendra Jain, was also injured.
It all began from Monday evening when nearly 100 torn pages of the Granth Sahib were spotted on the road. People from the Khurd Jawahar village stopped the traffic in Kotkapura on Monday evening. Later, on Tuesday, around 200 protestors garnered on the Barnala-Moga national highway and demanded the arrest of the person behind this impertinent act.
Reportedly, it is believed that these pages belong to the copy of the religious book that was stolen in June from the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village near Bargari. The list of protestors included prominent names like former Takht Damdama Sahib Jathedar Giani Kewal Singh, Baljit Singh Daduwal, Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwala and Panthpreet Singh Khalsa.
Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma, the leader of Sant Samaj, has declared a bandh on Thursday to protest against the vandalism of the religious book. The shutdown will be strictly followed in various areas of Punjab including Barnala, Moga, Faridkot, Muktsar and Bathinda.
Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal have requested people to maintain peace in the city and have assured that the guilty will not be spared. “The incident is an effort by anti-social elements to disturb the communal harmony of Punjab,” said Sukhbir Badal to The Indian Express.