Phagwara tense ahead of clash victim’s bhog; posters hailing him dot town
Police beefed up security in the town on Saturday, with the bhog ceremony of a Dalit youth Yashwant Bobby, who sustained bullet injury during the Phagwara clash on April 13 and died in Ludhiana’s Dayanand Medical College and Hospital on April 29, scheduled for Sunday. Dalits and members of right-wing Hindu organisations had clashed over renaming of the ‘Gol Chowk’ to the Samvidhan Chowk.
Over 2,000 security personnel are guarding the city. Even as a flag march was carried out, posters and hoardings calling Yashwant a martyr for the cause of the Samvidhan Chowk sprouted at several locations in the city on Saturday. The posters appeal to all join in paying tribute to Yashwant on Sunday.
“Samvidhan Chowk ke Amar Shaheed Yashwant Sethi (Bobby) ke Samriti me Shardhanjli Samaroh (A tribute-paying ceremony in the memory of immortal martyr Yashwant), May 6, Amar Palace, Banga road Phagwara from 1pm to 3pm,” reads the hoarding carrying his picture. It is also installed at the Gol Chowk. The board carries the name of the association making the request — Bhagwan Valmiki Action Committee and the Samast Dalit Samaj.
Significantly, the local administration and the MC officials have not taken any decision to rename the Gol Chowk, even as Dalit groups are already referring to it as the Samvidhan Chowk, citing an assurance from chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh.
Mayor Arun Khosla told HT, “No one has taken any permission from us before installing these hoardings on the important chowks and on the national highway in the city.”
SSP Sandeep Kumar Sharma said, “The situation is peaceful, but we will increase the security on Sunday. A SIT that the SP (investigation) Jagjit Singh heads is investigating the case. It is not clear who opened fire.”