M A I N   N E W S

HSGPC men clash with cops, block rail traffic
Bhanu P Lohumi
Tribune News Service

Kurukshetra, September 15
Enraged over the preventive arrest of Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (ad hoc) president Jagdish Singh Jhinda and some other prominent leaders, hundreds of HSGPC supporters today blocked rail traffic for four hours and clashed with the police to force their entry into Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi and laid a siege to the gurdwara.

The situation turned volatile as the angry protesters, who had converged here to participate in the Sikh sangat convened by Jhinda for the “forcible” takeover of key gurdwars in the state, came face to face with the police, which had raised barricades and blocked all approach roads to Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi to avert an imminent clash between SGPC and HSGPC workers.

SGPC president Avtar Singh Makkar and several other leaders and jathedars were camping inside the gurdwara to thwart any attempt at its takeover.

The HSGPC workers held a procession after the Sikh sangat at Gurdwara Kar Sewa and tried to enter the gurdwara from Railway Road and laid a siege. The HSGPC workers also had a scuffle with the police in an attempt to break the barricades following which the police resorted to a mild use of force.

The HSGPC protesters then reached the railway overbridge, a few metres from the main railway station, and blocked rail traffic for almost four hours. At least 12 trains, including the Dadar Express, the Malwa Express, the Jan Shatabdi, the Amritsar superfast, the Bathinda Express and four goods trains, were stranded en route and delayed by several hours.

The protesters were demanding a separate gurdwara committee for Haryana and the immediate release of Jhinda and the other detained leaders.

The administration held prolonged negotiations with HSGPC leaders but finally acceded to their demand and released Jhinda and the others following which the blockade was lifted.

Immediately after the release, Jhinda, along with his supporters, marched towards Gurdwara Chhevin Patshahi, further mounting tension.

The entire town was converted into a police fortress as around 500 cops were deployed to prevent any untoward incident.

Earlier, following the threat given by the HSGPC to forcibly take over the gurdwaras, the police whisked away Jhinda and youth leader Kanwaljit Singh Ajrana in a pre-
dawn swoop and deployed policemen at all vulnerable locations.





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