Phagwara clash: Internet ban in four Punjab districts till April 16

Tension in Phagwara on eve of Dr Ambedkar's birth anniversary

A night before Ambedkar Jayanti there was tension in the city on Friday night as activists of Ambedkar Sena (Mool Niwasi) put up two hoardings to "name" a chowk on National Highway as Sanvidhaan Chowk with Dr Ambedkar's picture. Then a Shiv Sena leader Rajesh Palta was allegedly beaten up by dalit youth at Balmiki Chowk, said sources.

Meanwhile internet services in entire Doaba region have been suspended for next twentyfour hours due to tense atmosphere developed in Phagwara.

However, when certain other groups, in particular Hindu groups, objected to this move and demanded its removal, a heavy clash between both the groups started. Also, some rounds of bullets were allegedly fired by several unknown people.

The chief minister, who is personally monitoring the situation after the incident, has ordered suspension of mobile Internet services in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and SBS Nagar districts to check rumour-mongering on social media, according to an official release. "We have deployed adequate number of police personnel in and around Phagwara to keep the protesters at bay", he said.

When contacted Kapurthala Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Tayab said the situation is under control, but being monitored.

The meetings of both communities are being held at separate places.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha member and Punjab BJP's president Shwait Malik cancelled his Phagwara visit in view of the tension prevailing there.

The New Delhi and Lahore-bound global bus was also diverted from Kartarpur and Phillaur. Even vehicular road traffic between Ludhiana and Jalandhar was diverted via link roads due to tension.

Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab has appealed for peace and stability and has ordered the suspension of mobile services in four districts after the clashes.The police have till now arrested around 500 people from both the sides, out of which 33 of them named and the arrest remain unidentified so far. "My government will bear all expenses for treatment of all those injured in the incident".

The six injured are Head Constable Amardeep Singh, Zimmi Karwal, son of Shiv Sena leader Inderjit Karwal, Yaswant, Jaswinder Kumar, Baljinder and Kulwinder Kumar.

NOIDA: A statue of BR Ambedkar in Richhpal Garhi village of Bisrakh in Greater Noida was found damaged, a day before the nation commemorates the birth anniversary of the Dalit icon. Congress leaders were able to perform the ceremony only after police cordoned off Ambedkar Chowk. The BSP leaders have been protesting over no reprieve over the dilution of the SC/ST Act.

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