H S Bawa
Jalandhar, March 28, 2012
The Bandh called to protest against the hanging of Bhai Balwant Singh Rajoana which otherwise remained peaceful throughout the state turned violent at Phagwara in the evening.
The two sides came face to face near the cremation ground at Banga Road of Phagwara after the road was blocked by Shiva Sena activists. A Shiv Sena leader Gurdip Saini alleged that some bandh supporters tried to get his shop closed forcibly. Shiv Sena activists blocking the road raised provocative slogans and burnt tyres in the mid of the road but the police remained muke spectator even as lathis and stones were gathered by the activists for a further action.
Sources told ‘Yes Punjab’ that the Police failed to assess the situation and allowed the tension to built up which eventually led to a clash. The situation worsened when a siikh youth who tried to cross through the blocked road was manhandled and slapped due to which his turban fell off.
As tension mounted the Shiv Sena activists tried to move towards the city centre while Sikh youths agitated over the incident also started gathering. Both the sides which were allowed to come face to face first raised slogans and then exchanged brickbats. The Police had to fire in the air to control the situation.
As DIG Jalandhar Range, Lok Nath Angra, who had reached the spot, was busy talking to the leaders from both the sides, Shiv Sena activists started pelting stones on the Police which had to resort to lathicharge. At least two policemen were injured in the brickbatting.
Patiala also witnessed an untoward incident when two groups clashed there. At least six people were reportedly injured. Two groups pelted stones at each other at Lehragaga in the district of Sangrur.