Three civilians and 12 cops--including the Inspector General of Bhatinda-- were injured in Faridkot, Punjab after a mob, protesting a desecration of the religious text, the Guru Granth Sahib, ended up clashing with the police. More than 100 pages of the Guru Granth Sahib were found scattered in a nearby Bargari village on Monday and the clamour, by believers, to apprehend those responsible turned violent.
The Hindustan Times reported that Sikh leaders of several political outfits have said that protests would continue.“We have been protesting in a peaceful way since June 1, when a bir (a copy of the holy book) was stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village," the newspaper quoted Surjit Singh Arian Wala, executive district president of the Shiromani Akali Dal,"But no action was taken against the accused.”
Wala said a handwritten poster pasted near Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara on the night of September 25 contained “foul language” against the Guru Granth Sahib. “Now we are holding a peaceful protest here and it would be called off only when the police arrest the accused,” he said.
The Sant Samaj led by Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhuma has called for a shutdown in Malwa on October 15 to protest against the alleged desecration.
Dhuma said the ‘bandh’ was called to pressure the government. “Those responsible for the sacrilege of the scripture should be arrested immediately,” he added.
The bandh will be observed in Faridkot, Moga, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Muktsar, Bathinda and Barnala. Health services have been kept out of its purview. Dhuma asked Sikhs in the Malwa belt to maintain peace during the bandh.