50 hurt in Kotkapura as protesters, police exchange fire

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member

Tension over the incident of destruction of a 'Bir' flared up in the Kotkapura area on Wednesday morning after the police and Sikh protesters exchanged fire, leaving more than 50 people, including 24 policemen, injured.
At least 6,000 protesters had gathered, demanding action against those responsible for the incident of sacrilege at Bargari village in Faridkot disctrict. Some of the protesters started pelting stones, and were asked to disperse by the police.
As they did not pay heed, the police mounted a cane charge, used water cannons and even fired in the air to break up the gathering. The police also detained around 500 protesters.
All schools have been closed in the area. A heavy police deployment has been made on all roads and bazaars of Kotkapura and the area near the protest site has been sealed.
Protesters also blocked the Moga-Ferozepur national highway at Dagru village, and the Moga-Kotkapura highway at Samalsar and Rode villages.
Sikh protesters had pitched their tents in Kotkapura town since Monday to protest against the alleged desecration of a 'bir' of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village.
A “bir” was allegedly stolen earlier from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village of Faridkot on June 1.
Over 100 pages of the Sikh holy book were found scattered in a street near a gurdwara on Monday.