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Phagwara calsh: Youth injured in clashes dies


Press Trust of India Phagwara
A youth, who was critically injured in a recent clash in Phagwara between members of Dalit outfits and Hindu right-wing groups on the issue of renaming an NH1 traffic intersection, succumbed to injuries at a hospital in Ludhiana, police said.
Yashwant alias Bobby (19), a Dalit activist, who was critically injured in the clash, in which three others were also injured, succumbed to injuries yesterday night at DMC Hospital in Ludhiana.
His body reached Phagwara in the morning after postmortem by doctors under tight police security.
Though tension had gripped the town, the cremation passed off peacefully, officials said.
Tanish, Bobby's younger brother, lit the funeral pyre.
Punjab Police, besides personnel of the Rapid Action Force, Anti-Riots squads and women police and BSF, have been deployed in all sensitive areas in the town.
On April 13, clashes erupted in Phagwara between members of Dalit outfits and Hindu right-wing groups after Dalit members allegedly put up a board with a picture of B R Ambedkar at Gol Chowk. They also tried to rename the intersection as Samvidhan Chowk.
Four persons were injured in the clashes.Yashwant had sustained head injury in the clash.
After his body was brought here, it was kept at Bhagwan Valmik chowk, which had been the venue for prayers and dharna for his well-being since April 14. It was then taken to Valmiki dharamsala and to his house located in narrow bylanes of the Valmiki mohalla.
When the body was being brought out of the mohalla, a group of enraged youths started raising slogans and refused to move further if the demand of Samvidhan chowk along with inscription of 'Shaheed Bobby's' name on it, was not accepted today itself.
After they were persuaded by authorities to proceed, they again stood ground near Valmiki mandir on Phagwara-Banga road.
They refused to budge and at one stage even turned back with the intention of proceeding towards Gol chowk with the bier on their shoulders but heavy police force stood in their way.
They were pacified by Harkamalpreet Singh Khakh, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Organised Crime and Control, who had come with the body from Ludhiana.
Then the body reached cremation ground on Banga road where the last rites were performed.
Chabbewal MLA Raj Kumar placed a wreath on the body on behalf of Punjab government. Several political leaders from the opposition parties also placed wreaths.
Heavy police force virtually fortified the town by blocking all entry and exit points during the cremation.
Main bazaars here remained closed.
Meanwhile, Punjab BSP President Rashpal Singh Raju today reiterated his party's demand for constituting a Special Investigation Team(SIT) to probe the clash.

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First Published: Apr 29 2018 | 2:50 PM IST

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