Phagwara clash: Internet services suspended in four Punjab districts

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Chandigarh, April 14 (IANS) Internet services were suspended in four districts of Punjab on Saturday after tension gripped the industrial town of Phagwara following clashes between the Hindu and Dalit groups over a poster of Babasaheb B.R. Ambedkar.

The Punjab Police on Saturday remained on high alert in Phagwara town following the clash. Tension prevailed in the industrial town, around 130 km from here, on Saturday following the clash that started late on Friday over the putting up of the Ambedkar’s poster at the Goal Chowk.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh ordered suspension of mobile Internet services in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Shaheed Bhagat Singh (SBS) Nagar (Nawanshahr) districts as a precautionary measure, to check rumour mongering on social media.

Informed sources in the police said that shots were allegedly fired during the clash, which also witnessed some stone pelting. Taking serious note of the clash between the Dalits and “upper caste men”, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said: “Would not spare the culprits.

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“Will not allow Punjab’s peace to be destroyed at any cost. My government will bear all expenses for treatment of all those injured in the incident.”

The Chief Minister directed the Ludhiana district administration to ensure the best treatment for Yashwant Kumar Bobby, reported to be seriously injured in the clash and undergoing treatment at DMC Hospital in Ludhiana.

Trouble arose on the eve of Ambedkar Jayanti when one group tried to put up the poster at the crossing which was opposed by the other.

Shiv Sena leader Rajesh Palta was beaten up allegedly by the Dalits during the clash. Senior police personnel along with additional forces have been deployed in the town following the clash.

Amarinder appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony and warned of “stringent action against anyone found disturbing the law and order in the state”.

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–IANS

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