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Punjab bandh turned violent despite tight security; six injured

Chandigarh, Wed, 28 Mar 2012 NI Wire

The Wednesday bandh in Punjab at last turned violent in the evening after remaining peace till after noon.

According to news sources, two reports of violence came in the state - one from Patiala and second from Sangrur.

Two groups of different community clashed near Arya Samaj Chowk in Patiala over the slogan of granting clemency to Balwant Singh Rajoana, a Babbar Khalsa terrorist, who is on death row in the assassination case of former chief minister Beant Singh and asking to set up a separate Khalistan. As much as six persons were reportedly injured in the clash.

Another incident of violence was reported from Lehragaga in Sangrur district where members of two communities pelted stones at each other.

Some more reports of violence have come from Jalandhar district but no reports of death or injury have come so far.

The violence occurred despite tight security in the state. The government has deployed over 60,000 Punjab police personnel and 15 companies of para-military forces. Forces also carried out Flag March in major cities and till afternoon the situation was calm and under control.

According to media reports, a complete 'bandh' was observed that hit the normal life across the state including transportation.

Several Sikh groups including Siromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee, Dal Khalsa and Khalsa Action Committee have called the bandh in the state, demanding clemency for Rajoana, who is on death sentence.

He is scheduled to be hanged on till death at 9 a.m. on Saturday at central jail, Patiala.

--With Agencies Input--

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