Moga, Sept 30: Police cane-charged activists of Sikh organisations when they were trying to force shopkeepers to down shutters during a Punjab bandh call given by some Sikh outfits in protest against the decision of Akal Takht to pardon Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. Most shops and commercial establishments today remained shut in the district. Police used batons to disperse a group of about 50 activists of various Sikh organisations when they were trying to force people to close down their shops.
Despite the bandh call, shopkeepers of Moga’s main markets, including on Partap Singh road, opened their shops at around 10:30 AM. However, after the protest from Sikh outfits, shopkeepers decided to down their shutters to protect their properties. Harjit Singh Pannu, Superintendent Police (D) Moga, said police force has been deployed in front of Gurdwaras at Dharmakot, Kot Ise khan, Moga, Baghapurana and Nihal Singh Wala.
All India Sikh Students Federation President Karnail Singh Peermohammed claimed Faridkot police conducted a raid at his residence. He said the bandh was completely peaceful in the city. Sikh organisations including the Federation, Dam Dami Taksal, Akali Dal (Delhi) and United Akali Dal had called for a Punjab bandh today in protest against the decision of Akal Takht to pardon the Dera Sacha Sauda head for alleged blasphemous act in 2007. The Jathehdar or chief priest of Akal Takht, the apex religious body of Sikhs, last evening announced setting up of a committee to discuss the entire issue in the wake of the protest.