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Minor incidents of violence during bandh against TV serial in Punjab

twitter-logoPTI | September 7, 2019 | Updated 20:51 IST

Chandigarh, Sep 7 (PTI) A day-long bandh by the Valmiki community in Punjab against the telecast of a TV serial they say distorted "historical facts", led to minor incidents of violence and threw life out of gear in parts of the state as markets remained largely shut on Saturday. The Valmiki Action Committee claims the serial 'Ram Siya Ke Luv Kush', airing on Colors TV contained derogatory remarks against the god, presented him in poor light and distorted historical facts, thereby hurting their religious sentiment. The organisation demands the serial's telecast be banned countrywide and its director and cast arrested under the IPC section for deliberately intending to outrage religious feelings. Commercial establishments remained closed in Jalandhar, Amritsar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Phagwara and Ferozepur. At some of these places, they were forced shut, officials said here. Ludhiana was partially affected by the bandh. Medicine shops, clinics and ambulance services were allowed to run. Minor incidents of violence were reported from a few places, including a clash in Fazilka and a firing incident in Nakodar in Jalandhar, officials said. Gurpreet Singh was injured and had to be hospitalised when protesters and traders threw bricks on each other, which led to firing of a gunshot in Nakodar, they said. In Fazilka, goods and articles were thrown out of a grocery shop. The protesters also blocked the National Highway-1 between Jalandhar and Amritsar, affecting the bus services between Amritsar and Chandigarh. All markets and some schools remained shut in Amritsar. A number of young men on motorcycles brandished swords, baseball bats and sticks to enforce the bandh. Police vehicles followed them. Led by Action Committee chairman Kishan Lal Hero and president Dharamvir Sethi, protesters assembled at Valmiki temple on Banga road in Phagwara, marched through the city and converged before the statue of BR Ambedkar in Hargobindnagar area. They were joined by other Dalit and Muslim groups, led by Punjab Haj Committee member Gulam Sarvar Sabba. The Action Committee warned authorities that they will step up the protest if the TV serial is not banned countrywide and its director and cast were not arrested. The protesters also demanded that a representative of the religious body be included in the Censor Board. On Friday night, district authorities in Nawanshahr, Ludhiana and Jalandhar ordered cable operators to not telecast the serial. PTI TEAM VSD ABH ABH

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