A day after a clash between two communities left at least three people injured and two vehicles, including one of a senior police official damaged, cross FIRs were registered by the Phagwara police against five named and 80 unidentified accused.
A joint committee, ‘Sanjha Phagwara Pariwar’, comprising people from both the communities was formed by civil and police administration of Kapurthala to sort out the differences. Heavy police force remained deployed in the area.
The first FIR under sections 307, 341, 323, 506, 148, 149, 427 of IPC has been registered against Rahul Karwal and Akshay Karwal, both nephews of Shiv Sena leader Inderjit Karwal who is in jail for the past several months, and around 8-10 unidentified persons. The FIR was registered on the complaint of one Nitin Kumar who alleged that he and others from Dalit community were attacked by Rahul and his 8-10 accomplices Friday evening. It is learnt that police rounded up some of these accused but did not disclose the names.
The FIR has been registered against the 60-70 unidentified people from the Dalit community who damaged the police official’s vehicle and a Punjab Roadways bus. They have been booked for obstructing government officials from performing duty as well as damaging the public property under sections 283, 353, 186, 148, 149, 427 and 188 of IPC on the statement of the police constable Soni Khan. In his statement, Khan, driver of the police vehicle that was damaged by the protesters, said that protesters attacked the vehicle with swords, baseball and sticks. He also mentioned that the protesters broke the CCTV cameras installed outside the Phagwara City Police Station.
Meanwhile, the situation in Phagwara was under control amid heavy police presence in markets. Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, Mohammad Tayyab, and SSP Satinder Singh remained stationed in Phagwara.
The SSP said that Sanjha Phagwara Pariwar will look into the activities of notorious people of both the communities who have been instrumental in fomenting trouble every now and then in Phagwara. He said that committee will also look into the issues related to Gol Chowk.
The clash had its genesis in another clash last year on April 14, on the eve of Dr BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary when some Dalit outfits had made an attempt to rename the Gol Chowk as “Samvidhan chowk”. At that time, some Dalit activists and those from some right wing organisations, including the Shiv Sena, cl;ashed with each other. A Dalit youth had received a bullet injury during the clash and later died two weeks later.
Following this, Phagwara remained on tenterhooks for about a month amid clashes between the two communities. Since then four Shiv Sena leaders have been sent to for opening fire during the clashes.