Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday appealed for peace in the state amid the ongoing clashes between two communities at Phagwara and warned severe punishment to those found disturbing the law and order.
The chief minister is personally monitoring the tight situation in the state while ordering the suspension of mobile Internet services in Kapurthala, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, and Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar (SBS Nagar) districts as a precautionary measure to control the rumours spreading on social media, as per an official release.
Singh took to Twitter and warned those who are creating the clashes. He wrote, “Taken serious note of the alleged clash between Dalits & upper caste men in #Phagwara. Won’t spare the culprits. Will not allow Punjab’s peace to be destroyed at any cost. My govt will bear all expenses for treatment of all those injured in the incident.”
Taken serious note of the alleged clash between Dalits & upper caste men in #Phagwara. Won’t spare the culprits. Will not allow Punjab’s peace to be destroyed at any cost. My govt will bear all expenses for treatment of all those injured in the incident.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) April 14, 2018
The clashes in Phagwara pertain to tension between two groups which started after people from one group put up a hoarding at Goal Chowk on the Amritsar-Delhi National Highway on late Friday evening and changing the name of the chowk to Sanvidhaan Chowk.
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.
The police tried to negotiate with both the groups, but just before midnight, gunshots were heard and heavy stone pelting was seen in between both the groups, injuring as many as four people in the clashes.
The injured were rushed to the local Civil Hospital and later transferred to the Ludhiana hospital.
Lok Insaf party leader Jarnail Nangal, who was roped in to sort out the issue, said, “The clash started after hoarding put up by Dalit activists were torn by the Hindu groups. This happened even as I had persuaded the Dalit activists to remove it after talking to Phagwara ADC Babita Kler and police officials. Any action on the hoarding should have been taken by the administration and not by the Hindu groups.”