October 22, 2017 | By Parmjeet Singh
Bathinda: Activists of various organisations yesterday undertook a massive drive to black paint Hindi and English signboards on Banthida-Faridkot Highway in order to highlight their demand seeking prominence to the Punjabi language. The protesters smudged signboards on about 25km stretch of NH-15.
“Seeking that Punjabi be the language on top of signboards, activists of Dal Khalsa, SAD (Amritsar), BKU (Krantikari) and Malwa Youth Federation and other organisations on Saturday smudged signboards written in Hindi and English leaving names of places only in Punjabi” noted a report in Hindustan Times (HT).
Police tried to stop the protesters who also blocked the road as a mark of protest. They stopped only after assurance from administration.
Dal Khalsa senior vice-president Bhai Hardeep Singh Mehraj said, “We respect all languages. However, in Punjab Punjabi must be given priority”.
“If authorities do not act on our demand, we will launch a statewide agitation”, he added.
A report in Punjabi Tribune (PT) notes that the administration has agreed to place sign-boards in Punjabi on Bathinda-Amritsar highway. The report further notes that the Public Works Department (PWD) has also secured necessary permissions from National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) in this regard.
Police Registers Case under Prevention of Damage to Public and Private Property Act:
Meanwhile, a case for prevention of damage to public and private act has been registered against leader of Malwa Youth Federation Lakhbir Singh alias Lakha Sidhana, Dal Khalsa leader Bhai Hardeep Singh Mehraj and around 70-80 unidentified persons in this connection at Nehianwala police station.