Communal clash in Phagwara, seven injured in stone-pelting
Tension gripped the town here after a clash between Shiv Sena activists and Muslim men supported by Sikhs, as the two sides pelted each other with stones for over 25 minutes on Friday afternoon. The clash left at least six people injured, including two cops.
The police failed to pre-empt the clash even as the situation was simmering for a couple of days. It all started on Wednesday when Sena activists allegedly used force to shut shops of a few Muslim families during a protest against disruption in the Amarnath Yatra in Jammu and Kashmir.
After Friday prayers, a delegation from the Muslim community was to submit a memorandum to the administration, seeking action against the Shiv Sena activists for harassing Muslim traders.
When the prayers were going on, Sena activists reached outside the mosque and started raising anti-Pakistan and ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ slogans. They reportedly also dared the people inside the mosque to face them.
People in the mosque came out and both sides exchanged heated words and soon stone pelting ensued at Gaushala road. The volatile situation took a dramatic turn when a group of Sikhs turned up to lend support to the Muslim side. The Sikh youths were carrying sharp-edged weapons and they also hurled stones at Sena activists.
The cops made no effort to stop the Sena activists from reaching outside the mosque. It was only after the two sides exchanged stones for 25 minutes that a posse of police reached the spot and detained some people from both sides.
“The administration was aware of our programme to submit the memorandum, still only a handful of cops were deployed near the mosque. Are we not citizens of this country? Police deliberately reached late as they wanted us to suffer at the hands of these hardliners,” said head of Ubbaish Ur-Rehman, head of the mosque.
Seven people, including two cops, sustained minor injuries. The shopkeepers downed the shutters after the clash.
Senior officers from the administration and the police, including deputy commissioner Jaskiran Singh, inspector general of police (Jalandhar range) Lok Nath Angra, DIG Rajinder Singh and Kapurthala SSP Rajinder Singh, too reached the spot.
“We are identifying the people who instigated the violence, through CCTV camera footage and other sources,” he said.
The situation was still tense when this report was filed as both communities were demanding an unconditional apology from one another for hurting their religious sentiments.
Despite a weather forecast of above normal rain in many parts of Maharashtra for the month of June, the state continues to experience rainfall deficiency. According to the India Meteorological Department, many factors have affected rainfall this month. About the delayed monsoon in the state and the rainfall deficiency in many parts of central Maharashtra, KS Hosalikar, head of IMD Pune, said that the deficiency is due to deficient pre-monsoon showers.
A 78- year- old woman from Hasanpur village near Baddowal succumbed to Covid even as 30 fresh cases of the virus surfaced in Ludhiana district on Monday. The deceased was undergoing treatment at Christian Medical College and Hospital (CMC&H) and suffering from comorbidities including diabetes and cardiac issues. The district currently has 188 active cases, of which 181 patients are under home isolation.
Mumbai: Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Monday rejigged ministerial portfolios so that “public welfare is not stalled.” Nine ministers, including Eknath Shinde, who are in Guwahati were stripped of their ministership. Among those dropped are 5 cabinet ministers and 4 ministers of state (MoS). Anil Parab has been allocated the additional charge of rebel minister Gulabrao Patil's portfolio of water supply and sanitation. The MoS portfolios have all been distributed among the three MVA parties.
The turmoil in Maharashtra's politics continued to hog national headlines as the Uddhav Thackeray-led government in the state struggled to nip the rebellion with reports of more leaders making a switch to the rebel camp led by disgruntled leader Eknath Shinde continued to pour in.
In view of rising crimes in the city, police commissioner Kautubh Sharma conducted a surprise inspection on Sunday night and checked vehicles himself. During the checking, one man was nabbed with a stolen mobile phone. Besides, one car was stopped and when police tried to search it, the driver fled after throwing a sharp weapon out of the vehicle. Sharma inspected checkpoints and night patrolling in the city.