FOUR LEADERS affiliated to Hindu outfits were arrested by the Kapurthala police Sunday. The names of the four were in the FIR registered on Saturday. Weapons were also recovered from them. The industrial town of Phagwara remained tense for the second day in a row. The suspension of mobile Internet services, SMS and dongle services to curtail the spread of rumours through social media and messaging services, was extended in the four Doaba districts for another 24 hours.
The clash between two groups had occurred over renaming of a roundabout on the Jalandhar-Ludhiana National Highway and at least a dozen rounds were fired and stones were pelted, which left six youths injured. One, who suffered a bullet injury in the head, is critical. Heavy police force, apart from RAF and BSF companies, was deployed along with around two dozen Duty Magistrates, across the town in a bid to maintain peace. Several rounds of talks were going on among the leaders of Hindu as well as Dalit organistions and civil-police administration.
The four arrested were identified as Shivi Batta (Hindu Shiv Sena), Inderjit Karwal (Shiv Sena), Deepak Bhardwaj (Hindu Surksha Samiti) and Raju Chahal (Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader), who were named in the cross-FIRs lodged Saturday against leaders of both groups, were picked up by the police. SSP Kapurthala Sandeep Sharma said, “We will verify whether their weapons were involved in the clash on Friday night.
A senior police officer said the condition of one among the injured, Yashwant alias Bobby, son of Charanjit and a resident of Phagwara, was serious. He was shifted first from Phagwara to Jalandhar and then to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH), Ludhiana. Another youth, Kulwinder, who suffered a bullet injury on his thigh, is undergoing treatment in another multi-speciality hospital in Jalandhar. Mohammad Tayyab, Deputy Commissioner, Kapurthala, said, “All the expenditure incurred on treatment of all those injured in the violence shall be borne by the government.”
DGP holds meet Punjab DGP Suresh Arora visited Jalandhar Punjab Armed Police (PAP) Sunday and convened a meeting of senior officers regarding the Phagwara clash and its impact in the other part of the Doaba region.