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Phagwara clash: Ambedkar Sena leader among 5 Dalits arrested

This came a few hours before General Samaj Manch’s scheduled meeting to discuss its future course of action.

punjab Updated: May 16, 2018 22:20 IST
Jatinder Mahal
Jatinder Mahal
Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
Punjab,Phagwara clash,Dalit leaders
Two arrested Dalits being produced in the court of sub-divisional magistrate in Phagwara on Wednesday. (HT Photo)

Over a month after the Phagwara group clash, the Kapurthala police on Wednesday arrested five Dalits booked in connection with the incident that kept the town on the edge for several days.

This came a few hours before General Samaj Manch’s scheduled meeting to discuss its future course of action.

Those arrested have been identified as Ambedkar Sena (Mool Niwasi) president Harbhajan Suman, Baljinder Kumar, Sanjiv Kumar, Davinder Deep and Pardeep Ambedkari, all residents of Phagwara.

They were booked by the police in two different FIRs registered on April 14 under Sections 353 (assault), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty) , 283 (obstruction in public way or line of navigation), 160 (committing affray), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50), among others of the IPC.

Notably, Section 307 (attempt to murder) has not been not included in the FIR against Suman and four others on Wednesday.

A senior police officer said, “The medical examination of complainant Jimmy, son of arrested Shiv Sena leader Inderjit Karwal and investigation of SIT has not found any firearm injury on his body. That’s why police did not include Section 307 against the accused.”

SP (headquarters) Jaskiranjit Singh Teja, who is heading the special investigation team (SIT) probing the case, said, “Suman has surrendered before the police while four other Dalits were arrested on Wednesday morning.”

Teja said the SIT has so far not found any evidence of Lok Insaf Party (LIP) leader Jarnail Nagal’s involvement in instigating the clash.

A clash had taken place between Dalits and members of right-wing Hindu organisations over the renaming of the ‘Gol Chowk’ on April 13 to Samvidhan Chowk. Dalit youth Yashwant Bobby was injured in the clash. He succumbed to bullet injuries on April 29.

4 others nabbed in assault case

Meanwhile, four other Dalits were arrested on Wednesday in connection with an assault case registered by the police on April 29. Bobby, Rohit, Surinder and Yogesh have been booked under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 451 (housetrespass in order to commit the offence) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC for hurting a local resident, Pawan Kumar.

General Samaj Manch meet

Meanwhile, General Samaj Manch held a meeting of “like-minded” organisations, mostly Hindu groups, in the city on Wednesday afternoon. Manch state president Fateh Singh demanded arrest of Nangal and transfer of Phagwara SP Parminder Singh, saying the latter’s “failure” led to the clash. “We will come on the roads to seek a CBI probe (into the clash) after six days, if the Phagwara police fail to include Section 307 against Suman and other Dalits,” Phagwara Manch president Vijay Sharma said.

Meanwhile, LIP leader Nangal demanded the arrest of remaining Hindu right-wing leaders booked in the FIR within two days. “We will take some harsh steps this time if police do not remove Dalits’ names from the FIR, and accused Hindu leaders are not arrested in two days,” he told the media.

First Published: May 16, 2018 21:49 IST