CHANDIGARH -- Exasperated by the alleged desecration of their holy book, Guru Grant Sahib, Sikhs continued to hold protests in several parts of Punjab blocking key roads and some burning effigy of Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.
The three-hour protests by Sikh activists at different places, including Moga, Fardikot, Taran Taran, Mansa, Patiala and Jalandhar passed off peacefully, police said here.
The members of Phagwara Block Congress (urban and rural) Committees, led by PPCC General Secretary Joginder Singh Mann, burnt Badal's effigy and marched from Hargobindnagar to National Highway 1 and converged on the open space at the former Traffic Light chowk opposite PWD Rest House, police said.
In Tarn Taran, Puran Singh of Dholan Thathi village in the district died of heat attack at the dharna site on the Harike bridge today, police said.
Due to various protests, the traffic was blocked at village Harbanspur-Jagjitpur on the Hoshiarpur-Phagwara road in Phagwara, police said.
The protesters strongly flayed the incidents of alleged sacrilege at Faridkot's Bargari village and the subsequent police firing on protesters at Behbal Kalan village in Kotkapura in Faridkot in which two Sikh activists were killed.
They also deplored fresh incidents of alleged desecration at villages Bath and Najushah Mishriwala in Tara Taran and Firozpur districts.
The agitators also demanded that the culprits should be booked under Section 302 (murder) of IPC, besides invoking Section 295-A for hurting their religious sentiments with the desecration of their holy book.
The traffic was diverted from alternative routes as protesters squatted on roads, police said.
Owing to blockade at Rama Mandi (Jalandhar Cantonement) on National Highway 1 near Jalandhar, traffic was diverted from Phagwara to alternative routes, police said adding that the traffic also remained affected on Pathankot-Jammu national highway for hours.
Meanwhile at Moga, Punjab Agriculture Minister Tota Singh cancelled his scheduled programme where he was to inaugurate a private hospital today.
A 'Shanti march' (peace rally) was taken out at Moga with Deputy Commissioner Parminder Gill leading it.
Protesters also staged a dharna on Ghanaur-Patiala highway, police said.
An uneasy calm prevailed in Punjab especially at Faridkot, Moga, Bathinda, Sangrur, Tarn Taran and Amritsar, officials said.
An incident of alleged sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib recently took place in a village in Faridkot district, provoking widespread protests in several parts of Punjab.