A nationwide anti-quota strike call on Tuesday evoked mixed response in Punjab with commercial establishments remaining shut in some parts including Hoshiarpur, Phagwara, Sangrur, Bathinda, and protesters taking out marches at several places in the state.
However, the bandh failed to evoke much response in Haryana. Shops, educational institutions functioned as per normal routine across the state while rail and road transport too plied normally.
Tight security arrangements were made by Punjab police to avert any untoward incident in the state.
“Situation remained peaceful in the state,” a senior police official said adding that timely intervention of cops at few places also averted tension among warring groups.
There was no impact on public transport and rail movement because of the Bandh call in the state. However, Ferozepur district witnessed clash between two groups leaving several persons injured over forcible closure of shops.
In Hoshiarpur district, shopkeepers of Talwara, Hajipur, Garhdiwala, Hariana, Bhunga, Garhshankar and Binewal towns observed bandh in response to anti-quota ‘Bharat Bandh’ call.
In Hoshiapur city protestors led by Balbir, President Doaba General Category Front and Lucky Thakur, President Rajput Karni Sena, took out a protest march from Jail chowk to mini secretariat and presented a memorandum to J Elanchezhian, SSP, Hoshiarpur, in this connection.
Similarly, shops and commercial establishments in Phagwara also remained closed.
Protesters, led by Punjab Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray and All India Hindu Surakhsha Samiti Punjab asked shopkeepers to close shops.
Several schools in Phagwara also announced holiday on Tuesday after students reached there.
Though the Bandh was peaceful, tension erupted when ‘Dalit’ activists gathered on cinema road and opposed what they called forcible closure of shops.
Led by Jarnail Nangal and Harbhajan Suman, they presented memorandum to Phagwara SP Parminder Singh Bhandal, demanding action against those who had forced shopkeepers to close their shops.
However, police succeeded in pacifying both the groups and brought the situation under control
In Ferozepur, two groups clashed over the alleged closure of shops in the city.
The incident took place when members of one group supporting the bandh call was “forcibly” closing some shops, police said.