Phagwara still tense; shops, schools closed
Police teams hold flag march in city; security outside houses of rightwing leaders beefed up
PRIVATE BANKS ALSO PREFERRED TO DOWN SHUTTERS AND STREET VENDORS DIDN’T SET UP STALLS; 2,000 SECURITY PERSONNEL DEPLOYED
PHAGWARA: Three days after a clash between members of Dalit groups and Hindu right-wing organisations over the renaming of the ‘Gol Chowk’, an uneasy clam prevailed in the city. No fresh violence was reported, but educational institutes and shops remained closed on Monday.
Private banks also preferred to down shutters and street vendors did not set up stalls. The clash had taken place in the hub of the Dalit community.
The administration claims to have deployed 2,000 security personnel to ensure peace in the city. Police carried out a mock drill and a flag march. Security was deployed outside the residence of Hindu right-wing leaders. “The situation is under contro. We have deployed adequate security,” SSP Sandeep Kumar Sharma said.
INTERNET SERVICES TO RESUME ON TUESDAY
“Internet and SMS services will remain suspended till Monday night. They will resume on Tuesday morning after reviewing the situation. As of now, I have not received any order to suspend internet in the region on Tuesday,” deputy commissioner Mohammad Tayyab said.
Exercising his powers under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CRPC), the DC has also directed all printing presses in the district not to print any objectionable content that can hurt religious sentiments.
ARMS LICENCE CANCELLED
Phagwara police have cancelled the arms licences of four Hindu outfit leaders it had arrested on Sunday. The leaders — Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) senior state vice-president Inderjit Karwal, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Suraksha Samiti state president Deepak Bhardwaj, Shiv Sena leader Shivi Batta and one Rajiv Chahal — were booked for attempt to murder and hurting religious sentiments. No other arrests have been made. An official said police are reviewing arms licences of those booked.
The tension started after hundreds of Dalits, led by Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leader Jarnail Nangal, gathered at the ‘Gol Chowk’, carrying sharp-edged weapons to install a banner to rename it, “Samvidhan Chowk” on Friday night. Shiv Sena leaders objected to this.
Following this, the two groups pelted stones on each other and opened fire, injuring five people. One of the injured, Yashwant Bobby is undergoing treatment at DMC, Ludhiana. SP (headquarters) Jaskiranjit Singh said his condition was critical. However, doctors claimed that Bobby was recovering quickly. On Saturday, Phagwara Police registered an FIR and booked around 100 people, including 33 by name.