Punjab paralyzed by Sikh strike over sacrilege

Security forces are on high alert in India’s Punjab state as Sikh religious leaders called a bundh (general strike) to protest what they say is blasphemy by a breakaway sect. Schools, markets, businesses and transportation were paralysed across Punjab May 22. Sikh protesters also clashed with police in neighboring Haryana state, leaving one dead and dozens injured. The controversy began after Gurmeet Ram Singh, leader of the multi-faith Dera Sacha Sauda, appeared in a newspaper advertisement dressed in the attire of revered Guru Gobind Singh (1666-1708), the tenth and last Sikh guru. (Deccan Herald, AFP, May 3)

See our last post on sectarian violence in India.