Rail and road traffic was thrown out of gear and normal life disrupted in Punjab and Chandigarh today due to a day—long state-wide bandh called by radical Sikh outfits to protest alleged inaction against 1984 riots accused.
Shops and business establishments were closed in many places in the state due to the bandh called by Dal Khalsa and some other outfits. Private schools and some banks were also closed at some places as a precautionary measure.
A number of trains originating from Amritsar, Ferozepur and Ludhiana were cancelled while some others were terminated due to the blockades set up by protestors between Rajpura and Shambu on the mainline Ambala Ludhiana section providing a link to the national capital and Jammu and Kashmir.
The trains affected included Amritsar-New Delhi, Shatabdi Express, Amritsar Nanded Sachhkhand Express, New Delhi Amritsar Shatabdi Express, Amritsar New Delhi Inter City Express, Amritsar Hardwar Jan Shatabdi Express, Howrah Amritsar Express, Ahmedabad Jammu Express besides a number of passenger trains.
Private buses were off the road in several areas of the state. Few state-owned Punjab Roadways buses were seen on main state and national highways.
The protestors also blocked road traffic at some places in the city where the traffic was already disrupted due to tight security arrangements for the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Activists of Dal Khalsa and Damdami Taksal did not allow state owned roadways buses to run in Punjab and Chandigarh, officials said.
Long queues of buses could be seen outside various bus stands in Punjab and Chandigarh.
Officials said that the bandh was so far peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in Punjab.
Dal Khalsa spokesperson Kanwarpal Singh said private vehicles and emergency services would be not be affected by the bandh.
On October 23, Dal Khalsa supported by the Khalsa Action Committee, had given a shutdown call for today to register its protest against the killings of thousands of Sikhs in 1984.
Chairman of Shiromani Panthic Council Manjit Singh Calcutta said, “25 years have passed but the country’s justice system has failed to bring the perpetrators to book“.
Various Panthic organisations including Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) have extended support to the Dal Khalsa’s call for Punjab Bandh.