Phagwara clash: Remand of Hindu, Dalit leaders extended
A court in Punjab extended till June 7 the judicial remand of four Hindu right-wing leaders and five Dalit activists, currently in jail in connection with the sectarian clash in Phagwara on April 13.
They were produced before the Phagwara judicial magistrate through video-conferencing, according to Jaskiranjit Singh, superintendent of police and head of a three-member special investigation team (SIT) probing the matter.
The Hindu leaders included Inderjit Karwal, state vice-president of Shiv Sena Bal Thackeray; Deepak Bhardwaj, Punjab unit president of All India Hindu Suraksha Samiti; Shivi Batta, president of Shiv Sena; and Raju Chahal, local Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha leader.
The Dalit activists included Harbhajan Suman, president of Punjab Ambedkar Sena Moolnivasi, Baljinder Kumar, Sanjeev Kumar, Davinder Deepa and Pradeep Ambedkari.
While the Hindu leaders were arrested on April 15, Dalit activists were arrested on May 16.
Earlier, one-day police remand of Shivi Batta was secured on May 17 after section 302 (murder) of the IPC was added to the case after Yashwant Bobby (19) had succumbed to his injuries on April 29.
Batta was later again sent to judicial custody.
All nine activists of both groups were lodged in Modern Kapurthala jail.
Communal violence was triggered after Dalit groups had fixed a flex board with B R Ambedkar's picture on it at Gol Chowk here on April 13, attempting to rename it as Samvidhan Chowk.
Hindu activists opposed it, leading to sectarian clash that had left one dead and three injured.