Sikhs’ strike peaceful, says Punjab government (Sidebar)

June 25th, 2008 - 9:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Chandigarh, June 25 (IANS) The Punjab government Wednesday said that the strike by various Sikh organisations seeking the arrest of Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh passed off peacefully. The Punjab government’s media adviser Harcharan Singh Bains told media persons here that no untoward incident was reported from anywhere in the state.

He said that railway traffic was affected at 19 places in the state while roads were blocked at 11 places.

“The government agencies had made elaborate arrangements to maintain peace and communal harmony in the state. Keeping in view the highly emotive nature of the issue, they used a combination of restraint, tact and firmness to ensure that the situation remained peaceful and totally under control. The state remained normal and free from any kind of tension,” said Bains.

Hundreds of railway passengers and motorists complained that no arrangements were in place from the Punjab government or respective district administrations to provide help to stranded people.

“We went without food and water for several hours. There was no one to help the elderly, women and children,” complained Shamsher, who failed to reach his office in Ludhiana.

But Bains claimed that rail and road traffic was affected only at a limited number of places.

He claimed that while the protesters had moved away from most places, they were likely to end their agitation by Wednesday evening.

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