2018 Phagwara violenceProtesters submit memo to SDM for release of right-wing leaders
Phagwara The release of four Hindu right-wing leaders arrested after communal clashes in Phagwara on April 13, 2018, became an issue in the town after BJP mayor Arun Khosla protested outside the office of SDM Gurwinder Singh Johal seeking their release. The violence had been triggered over the renaming of the Gol Chowk in the town. Clashes had occurred between right-wing activists and Dalits in which a man had died and many had sustained injuries.
The General Samaj Manch submitted a memorandum with the SDM, seeking the release of the four leaders who are Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) state vice-president Inderjit Karwal; All India Hindu Suraksha Samiti Punjab unit president Deepak Bhardwaj, Shiv Sena president Shivi Batta and local Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader Raju Chahal.
Members of the Samaj held a meeting with family members of those arrested on Thursday and threatened to start a hunger strike from February 24. “Police have failed to prove the crime against these leaders and also ensured that none of them gets bail,” said Fateh Singh, president of the union. Fateh claimed that police had released Dalit leaders. SSP Satinder Singh rubbished these allegations, saying they had proceeded as per law.
Dalit activists also held a meeting and said they would launch an agitation if police released Hindu leaders.