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Train traffic hit by Punjab bandh, thousands stranded

Source: PTI
November 03, 2009 11:59 IST
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Activists of a radical Sikh outfit on Tuesday blocked trains and buses in Amritsar to enforce the Punjab bandh called by them to protest alleged inaction against the 1984 riots accused, disrupting rail traffic on the busy route and leaving many passengers stranded.

The activists of Dal Khalsa and some other outfits blocked the tracks, delaying the movement of many trains including the Shatabdi Express, Sachkhand Express, Paschmi Express, Super Fast, Dadar, Kathiar Express and Tata Mouri.

A senior officer of Ambala Division told PTI in Chandigarh that a number of long distance passenger trains running on the Delhi-Amritsar and Delhi-Jammu sections were affected, due to the blockade of tracks between Rajpura and Shambu, on the Ambala Ludhiana mainline section.

A number of trains have either been cancelled for the day or terminated short of their destination due to the blockade, he said. A number of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir bound trains were being terminated at Ambala and other stations in Haryana.

Activists of Dal Khalsa also did not allow any Punjab Roadways bus to move out from the mail bus stand in Amritsar. Hundreds of passengers were left stranded at the Amritsar station and bus stand. Gursharn Kaur, who along with her six family members was scheduled to leave for Delhi by the Shatabdi Express, lamented that she would not be able to make it to the national capital in time for her flight to Mumbai and then to the United States.

The affected trains include New Delhi-Amritsar Shatabdi Express, Amritsar-New Delhi Inter City Express, Amritsar-Hardwar Jan Shatabdi Express, Dadar-Amritsar Express, Howrah-Amritsar Express, besides a number of passenger trains.

Road traffic was also disrupted at many places in the state, including on the Chandigarh-Ropar National Highway. Initial reports said markets were closed at some places. On October 23, the Dal Khalsa, supported by the Khalsa Action Committee, had given a shutdown call for Tuesday to register its protest against the killings of thousands of Sikhs in 1984.

Chairman of Shiromani Panthic Council Manjit Singh said, "Twenty-five years have passed but the country's justice system has failed to bring the perpetrators to book".

Gaini Baldev Singh, the head of another hard-line outfit, asked the people of the state to close down their business establishments, shops, banks, industry and transportation, in the memory of the victims of the 1984 anti-Sikh carnage.

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