Punjab unrest: CM calls emergency meet; paramilitary deployed in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar

NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has convened an emergency cabinet meeting as protests continued for seventh day in various parts of the state against the alleged desecration of Sikh holy books.

Paramilitary forces were also deployed in Amritsar, Ludhiana and Jalandhar.

Six BSF companies, with 77 jawans each, have already reached Punjab amid deteriorating law and order situation.

The decision to deploy BSF came following a telephonic conversation between Union home minister Rajnath Singh and Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Monday.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Monday called up the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal as several major cities remained out of bounds for commuters amid protests.

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According to the state’s intelligence wing, protests are on at 162 gurdwaras, 59 key locations on the Amritsar-Delhi national highway and 103 locations on state highways along which trucks routinely ferry commodities such as crude oil, acid and metal.

An intelligence report said that protests are being led by women sarpanchs, head granthis, taxi unions and college students. The report also classified some protests as those led by radicals and religious groups.

Many see these protests as a fallout of Akal Takht’s controversial September 24 order that pardoned Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh for allegedly imitating Guru Gobind Singh in 2007. The takht has revoked the pardon since then but the anger has continued to simmer.

Two persons have lost their lives in police action due to ongoing protests.

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