Meanwhile, the occasion of Dalit icon Ambedkar’s 127th birth anniversary on Saturday, April 14, Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared greetings with the nation along with BJP cadres and inaugurated India’s first wellness centre in the Maoists-hit Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, Punjab’s Phagwara witnessed clashes between 2 Hindu groups and a Dalit outfit in Kapurthala district on Friday night, which caused injuries to 6 people. Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister of Punjab has appealed for peace and stability and has ordered the suspension of mobile services in four districts after the clashes.The police have till now arrested around 500 people from both the sides, out of which 33 of them named and the arrest remain unidentified so far.
Violence erupted over setting up of boards by Dalit activists in a bid to rename Phagwara’s “Goal Chowk” to “Samvidhan Chowk”. On Saturday morning, unit Vice-President of Shiv Sena was allegedly manhandled by Dalits, who along attacked the vehicle of Phagwara SPPS Bhandhal. As per the police, firing was witnessed in the area and stones were also hurled. Out of 6 injured, 1 is in a critical condition and has been admitted to DMC in Ludhiana.
In the later part of the day, the situation was brought under control after security forces marched through the area. Authorities also held meetings with Dalit and Hindu outfits on Saturday. However, due to the intense milieu, markets remain shut. Minor clashes were also witnessed in Ahmedabad after independent MLA Jignesh Mevani’s supporters tried to stop BJP MP Kirit Solanki from garlanding Ambedkar statue in Sarngpur. But events organised by chief minister Vijay Rupani in Gandhinagar and BJP president Jitu Vaghani in Surat remained calm.