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HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Tension prevails in Phagwara after members of two communities clash

Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times   Phagwara, July 19, 2014
First Published: 21:56 IST(19/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:57 IST(19/7/2014)

Tension prevailed in Phagwara on Saturday when members of some religious organisations allegedly pelted stones at a mosque in the main market of the town to protest against the Baltal incident wherein locals and pilgrims had clashed recently following which the Amarnath yatra was suspended.

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The attack took place in the presence of police after some leaders delivered speech in a meeting at local Hanuman Garhi temple, demanding expulsion of the members a community from the city.

These leaders were reportedly accompanied by the Punjab police personnel. The police controlled the agitated members who pelted stones at the mosque.

Eyewitnesses said some people misbehaved with deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Jasbir Sngh Rai who was trying to control the mob. It all started when some organisations decided to hold a procession against the Baltal episode in Phagwara market.

Though the protesters were accompanied by the police during the procession the latter failed to control the situation when some people suddenly started pelting stones at the mosque.

"We had informed the police on Friday that some people were planning to attack us. We had asked for security but the police did not bother to listen to us. They did not stop people from pelting stones today," a minority-community member said.

Some minority-community members in their complaint to the police alleged that they had already alerted the administration that an attack could take place. The policemen on the spot were quite a few in number, due to which they could stop the protesters from pelting stones at the mosque and abusing their community.

The police had not registered a case till filling of the report. "We are examining the complaint. The Kapurthala SSP is also present on the spot. It was due to the presence of police that a big clash was averted and no loss of any kind has been reported," said Phagwara SP Gursewak Singh Brar. Heavy police force has been deployed in some of the sensitive areas in Phagwara after the clash. Police patrolling has also been increased in the town.

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