Orphans terrorized, thousands stranded in Punjab Sikh riotsMay 26th, 2009 - 8:53 pm ICT by John Le Fevre
Orphans and newborn babies at the Nari Niketan trust shelter and nursery have been terrorized by rioting Sikh’s in Jalandhar angry at the murder of guru Sant Ramanand in Vienna on Sunday.
A trustee of the organization, Seema Chopra, said the 32 girls and staff members who supervise a nursery of newborns were left terrified as protesters armed with sticks, bricks, stones and swords ran amok, throwing rocks onto and against the building.
Fifty-seven-year-old Ramanand was attacked by six men armed with knives and a pistol during a ceremony at a gurdwara in Austria setting of a wave of violent protests by Dera Sachkhand sect followers throughout the Punjab.
One person was killed and four injured when Army personnel opened fire to disperse a mob attempting to burn down a police station near Lambra, 30 km from Jalandhar, while another person was seriously injured when police opened fire at a mob attacking the Jalandhar Cantonment railway station.
At least 11 train coaches and a locomotive were destroyed, along with dozens of buses, cars, private and government buildings.
All trains on the Ambala to Amritsar section have been canceled, including the Shatabdis, while the Delhi to Lahore bus and Lahore to Delhi buses were stopped briefly and diverted from Ludhiana and Amritsar via Moga and Sultanpur Lodhi.
The protests have standard thousands of tourists in the region as protesters target bus depots, while cable TV providers were told to stop telecast of channels beaming pictures of the violence.
Amid simmering tension throughout the region the Army, paramilitary forces, the Rapid Action Force and the Punjab police conducted flag marches, while local peace committees were formed.
In Amritsar police resorted to cane-charging and teargas to disperse a mob that damaged vehicles at the bus station and ransacked commercial property near Hall Gate.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said 40 battalions of the Punjab Armed Police had been deployed while the State government had sought another 25 companies of paramilitary forces.
- Shutdown affects Punjab, Rajoana appeals for peace (Third Lead) - Mar 28, 2012
- Shutdown hits Punjab, Rajoana appeals for calm (Second Lead) - Mar 28, 2012
- One killed as Punjab burns over Vienna gurdwara clash (Third Lead) - May 25, 2009
- Sikhs rioting in Punjab on news of Sant Ramanand murder prompts curfew - May 26, 2009
- One dead as Punjab erupts over Vienna gurdwara killing (Roundup) - May 25, 2009
- Centre stays Rajoana hanging, Punjab leaders welcome it (Roundup) - Mar 28, 2012
- Punjab shutdown affects life but peaceful (Lead) - Mar 28, 2012
- Mobs block trains, seek justice for 1984 riots victims (Second Lead) - Nov 06, 2009
- Radical Sikhs disrupt train service in Punjab - Nov 03, 2009
- Radical Sikh bodies shutdown in Punjab throws train schedules off track - Nov 03, 2010
- Punjab limps back to normalcy, but tension persists (Second Lead) - May 26, 2009
- Protesters block train traffic in Punjab (Lead) - Nov 06, 2009
- Curfew lifted in trouble-torn areas of Punjab - May 28, 2009
- Delhi-Lahore bus stopped, curfew imposed in Ludhiana - May 25, 2009
- Police to seek details about Khalistani terrorists' arrest in Germany - Aug 17, 2010
Tags: ambala, army personnel, bus depots, cable tv providers, cantonment railway station, damaged vehicles, gurdwara, nari niketan, newborn babies, paramilitary forces, parkash singh badal, peace committees, punjab police, ramanand, rapid action, sultanpur, target, throwing rocks, train coaches, violent protests