Chandigarh: The Punjab Police claims it has "clear and concrete evidence" of foreign funding in the cases of desecration of the holy book of the Sikhs, Sri Guru Granth Sahib, in recent days.
The police has apprehended many of those accused of desecrating the holy book at several places in the state. Of seven such cases, police claim to have cracked five by arresting eight people.
A senior police officer said that all seven acts of desecration of the holy book were interconnected, contradicting an earlier statement that said the events were isolated.
"The police has also unearthed the track used in foreign funding for carrying out the nefarious designs to vitiate the hard-earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in Punjab," Additional Director General of Police IPS Sahota said.
He added that Dubai and Australia appear to be major landmarks in the funding trail unearthed by the the Punjab Police.
Protests have flared across the state in recent days over the desecration of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Central forces were stationed today at Amritsar, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Tarn Taran. The army held a flag march in Amritsar.
The Congress and AAP leaders met the Punjab governor this morning and demanded the dismissal of the Parkash Singh Badal government and the imposition of President's Rule in the state.
Chief Minister Badal convened an emergency Cabinet meeting to counter the crisis - considered the worst in his nine-year rule.
The Shiromani Akali Dal - which rules the state with partner BJP - and the Chief Minister say "outside agencies" have orchestrated these events to foment trouble in the state.
On Monday, Sikh groups and radical outfits had blocked highways across the state, demanding action against those responsible for desecrating scriptures. The protesters have threatened to continue the blockade till October 25 for three hours every day.