Curfew imposed in Punjab after riots

CHANDIGARH Tue May 26, 2009 6:30pm IST

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in Punjab May 25, 2009. Troops patrolled towns and highways in Punjab to enforce a curfew on Tuesday after three people were killed in riots sparked by the killing of a Sikh preacher in Austria. REUTERS/Stringer

A passenger train burns in Jalandhar, in Punjab May 25, 2009. Troops patrolled towns and highways in Punjab to enforce a curfew on Tuesday after three people were killed in riots sparked by the killing of a Sikh preacher in Austria.

Credit: Reuters/Stringer

Related Topics

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

CHANDIGARH (Reuters) - Troops patrolled towns and highways in Punjab to enforce a curfew on Tuesday after three people were killed in riots sparked by the killing of a Sikh preacher in Austria.

More than 18,000 bus and railway passengers had been stranded in the neighbouring state of Jammu and Kashmir after the violence brought some services to a standstill, but the routes started to resume traffic late on Tuesday afternoon.

Thousands of dalits, or "untouchables", torched trains, cars and shops on Monday to protest against the killing of a leader of a religious sect in an attack on a gurudwara in Vienna, prompting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to appeal for calm.

The preacher who died was from the Dera Sach Khand, which has a large dalit following in India of lower caste Sikhs and Hindus.

Most shops in parts of Punjab hit by Monday's protests remained closed for a second day, but authorities began to slowly relax the curfew in some areas.

"The curfew has been relaxed from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and the time could be extended if there is no violence," senior state police official Vikas Garg said.

At least 16 people were hurt in the violence in Vienna on Sunday when six armed men attacked two preachers visiting from India during a temple ceremony.

Austrian police said they did not know yet about the motives for the attack.

Sikhism officially rejects caste but social hierarchies still prevail. Dera Sach Khand has gained many followers from the dalit community in Punjab and is opposed by many mainstream Sikhs.

The riots caused U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc to postpone the launch of its first cash-and-carry store in India, which was scheduled to open in Punjab on Tuesday.

(Additional reporting by Ashok Pahalwan in Jammu)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Caste Bias

Caste Bias

Bigoted teachers lead marginalised Indian school kids to drop out - HRW.  Full Article 

Ferry Tragedy

Ferry Tragedy

Divers feel with their hands for corpses in depths of S.Korean ferry.  Full Article 

Australia Determined

Australia Determined

Australia vows to keep searching to solve missing Malayasian plane mystery.  Full Article 

Guns and Gowns

Guns and Gowns

Film “The World Before Her” juxtaposes two faces of Indian woman.  Full Article 

Mobile Ads

Mobile Ads

Google extends reach into mobile apps with new ad feature.  Full Article 

Allegations Denied

Allegations Denied

Allegations of teen sex abuse by three Hollywood execs denied.  Full Article 

Rising Tensions

Rising Tensions

U.S. vows more sanctions on Russia unless tensions ease in Ukraine.  Full Article 

Need for Speed

Need for Speed

United must move fast with vital window looming.  Article 

Afghanistan Exit

Afghanistan Exit

Exclusive - U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage