Protest gets mixed response in Punjab, passes off peacefully

Chandigarh, April 10 (IANS) The one-day bandh call against reservation passed of largely peacefully in Punjab on Tuesday with the protest evoking a mixed response in some areas.

Road and rail transport services were not affected.
Tension prevailed in the industrial town of Phagwara as two groups came face to face during the one-day Bharat Bandh (shutdown protest), but police intervened and defused the situation.
The situation arose when some activists from Hindu organisations, getting shops closed during the protest in the town, were confronted by Dalits.
The Hindu organizations are opposing the reservation policy of the government.
A minor clash took place between two groups in Ferozepur town, around 250 km from here, when one group was forcing closure of shops and others opposed it.
One person was injured in the incident and a couple of two-wheelers were partially damaged.
However, the situation was contained by police.
The Punjab Police had beefed up security in view of the strike call. The anti-quota strike call evoked a mixed response in some parts of Punjab.

A shutdown was observed by some shops and businesses in view of the bandh call in some smaller towns in Punjab. Though no organization has owned up the protest call, it was circulated mostly through social media.
Punjab has the highest concentration of Dalits among states in the country. They comprise 32 percent of the state’s 2.8 crore population.The protest shutdown by scheduled caste organizations last week passed off peacefully in Punjab.

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