Poanta Sahib limping to normalcy after violent clash

Shimla: Life was limping back to normalcy in Poanta Sahib after the bloody clash on Wednesday that left 3 dead as mobile police was patrolling the area to dispel rumour mongering that did give some tense moments to law enforcers on Friday morning.

“The situation has been brought under control,” said Punita Bhardwaj, SP Sirmaur who is camping in Poanta Sahib. Some shops in the markets did open up and people went about meeting their daily needs.

DIG south range Ashok Sharma who had rushed to Poanta after the violent clash between Bahti and Valmiki communities erupted said that police was visiting the neighbouring villages to reassure the people about their security.

Prior to performing the last rites of the three persons killed in the violence on Thursday, police had a difficult time in restraining a violent mob of one community.

A police transport vehicle and some hutments were burnt down by the mob. Several other vehicles were damaged.

According to sources, fearing a backlash, rumours were rife on Friday morning and people belonging to the two communities had started gathering to ward of any acts of violence.

There were some tense moments but effective policing was able to dispel the rumours and restore confidence among the people, said Bhardwaj.

Vigilance at the state barriers, both on the Haryana and Uttrakhand side, has been increased and movement of people is being strictly monitored.

“Of the 9 persons arrested for the violence, direct involvement of 3 persons has been found and they have been arrested while the others are still detained and are being questioned,” said the district police chief. No fresh arrests had been made, she added.

Whereas some said that the violent flare up was because of an altercation among the youths of the two communities over parking space, others said that it was a fallout over an eve teasing incident on Holi Day but Bhardwaj said, “the cause of the violence is being investigated as we have not established anything yet.”

Condition of three persons who were grievously injured in the fight is said to be stable.

For dereliction of duty three policemen have been suspended for not taking precautionary measures, despite being aware of the tension prevailing between the two communities.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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