Balwant Singh Rajoana hanging: Punjab shutdown affects life but peaceful

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The one-day bandh (shutdown) called by various Sikh organisations Wednesday to protest against the scheduled hanging of Babbar Khalsa International ( BKI) terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana affected life in most places across Punjab but remained peaceful...

The one-day bandh (shutdown) called by various Sikh organisations Wednesday to protest against the scheduled hanging of Babbar Khalsa International ( BKI) terrorist Balwant Singh Rajoana affected life in most places across Punjab but remained peaceful.

Shops and commercial establishments remained closed at most places Wednesday. Saffron coloured flags could be seen put up on buildings, houses and shops.

Additional Director General of Police (ADGP), Law and Order, S.K. Sharma said there was no incident of violence during the shutdown till afternoon.

Protest marches were taken out by members of various Sikh organisations seeking clemency for Rajoana, who faces death penalty for his role in the 1995 assassination of then chief minister Beant Singh.

A court in Chandigarh had Tuesday directed that Rajoana be hanged March 31.

Normal life was affected as shops and educational institutions remained closed. State transport and private buses were plying in much lesser numbers.

General traffic was normal on most national and state highways in the state. The protestors did block some roads in places like Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Patiala and Amritsar for some time.

Nearly 60,000 Punjab Police personnel and 15 companies of paramilitary forces have been put on alert. Security forces took out flag marches in some cities and towns.

In Patiala, 80 km from here, where Rajoana is lodged in the central jail and where the court has directed he be hanged, the entire area around the prison complex has been put under heavy security cover.

Barricades have been put up on roads leading to the prison complex.

Patiala district police chief Gurpreet Singh Gill said tight security arrangements were in place around the prison complex and elsewhere in Patiala district.

In Chandigarh, the district administration imposed prohibitory orders against any protests and rallies in the entire union territory Wednesday.