Phagwara: At least two persons were injured after an altercation over a minor issue snowballed into a clash between two groups here, police said today. The incident sparked tension yesterday in two marketplaces here with shopkeepers downing their shutters. Heavy police force, led by City SHO Ramandeep Singh, rushed to the site and brought the situation under control, police said. The incident occurred when a few youths of Balmiki Mohalla were passing through the crowded Chaura Khooh Mandir Main Bazaar yesterday and shopkeeper spat on the road.
The youths took umbrage to the action and an altercation followed. Another shopkeeper in the area intervened to mollify them but the enraged youths foul-mouthed him, police said. A person passing by, tried to cool their frayed tempers but he too was greeted with expletives, resulting in a scuffle. However, this man, who ran a shop in neighbouring Mohalla Khalwaragate market, later called his supporters to the area and soon the situation turned ugly. Many people who had gathered at the spot allegedly pelted bricks at one another resulting in minor injuries to a shopkeeper and a youth, police said.
Both groups prowled with impunity in the market places, brandishing sharp-edged and blunt weapons, including swords, ‘datturs’ and ‘dastas’ (wooden handles of spades), eyewitnesses said. Shopkeepers in both the markets — Chaura Khooh Mandir Main Bazaar and Mohalla Khalwaragate — downed their shutters in panic. The SHO said the issue was resolved amicably and the tension was defused. PTI
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