Tension prevailed in the city on Tuesday as activists of Beghampura Tiger Force, Bahujan Samaj Party and some other minority outfits forced closure of shops in protest against a television news channel, and clashed with BJP workers when they refused to obey their orders.
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) district secretary Neeraj Sharma was seriously injured in the clashes.
A bandh call had been given for Wednesday after the said news channel allegedly made some “derogatory” remarks against Guru Ravidass. However, people were caught unawares when groups of demonstrators, brandishing sticks and kirpans, came out on the streets on Tuesday, and started forcing a shut down. Police personnel tried to intervene, but to no avail.
Violence erupted when the protesters reached Sutehri road and tried to shut down a mobile repair shop where Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, including BJYM district president Nitin Gupta and Neeraj Sharma were holding a meeting.
After BJYM's refusal to comply, the two groups clashed.
According to eyewitnesses, the protesters first attacked a BJYM worker, after which they retaliated. While the rest of the BJP workers ran for cover, the protesters caught Sharma and thrashed him. He was later admitted to the civil hospital. Police rounded up a few people in this connection.
A heavy police force was deployed in the city to avert further tension, and superintendent of police (detective) Jagmohan Singh took charge of monitoring security arrangements.
However, no case had been registered against anyone till the filing of this report.
Some activists also staged a protest on the Chandigarh road near Bajwara on the same issue and blocked traffic for a few minutes. They also burnt the effigy of news channel's editor and demanded his arrest.
Effigy burnt at Nurmahal
Nurmahal: Activists of the Guru Ravidass Nagar Kirtan Prabandhak Committee on Tuesday burnt the effigy of a news channel editor at Ravidass Chowk to protest the alleged defamatory remarks against Guru Ravidass during the telecast of a programme. Rally leaders demanded the arrest of the management and reporters for hurting religious feelings of a community. Nurmahal SHO Vijaykanwarpal pacified protesters and received a memorandum from them.