IP Singh| TNN | 

Muslims serve ‘sharbat’ on Tuesday.Muslims serve ‘sharbat’ on Tuesday.
PHAGWARA: For the first time Dalit and Muslim groups took part in the ‘Chhabeel’ organized by Sikh outfits on the national highway in Phagwara in the memory of Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale and other Sikhs killed in the Operation Bluestar. The “unity among minorities and Dalits” was conspicuous after some right wing Hindu groups opposed hoardings announcing holding of the ‘chhabeel’ and a religious function carrying pictures of Bhinderanwale

The Hindu groups also held a small ‘chhabeel’ outside Hanuman Garhi Mandir on the service lane along the national highway as police did not allow them to reach the main carriageway in front of the Sikh groups. At the ‘chhabeel’ organized by Akal Students federation, in which several other Sikh organizations also joined on Tuesday, pictures of Bhinderanwale were displayed on the banners and youths seen wearing T-shirts with his photos.

Police personnel were deployed in big numbers and a close vigil was kept in the wake of tension brewing in the town for the last few days after Hindu groups announced to remove hoardings and Sikh activists threatening to retaliate.

Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) leader Jarnail Nangal, who contested the recent assembly election from Phagwara, also visited the ‘chhabeel.’ Dalit organizations of Ravidassia/Adidharmi and Valmiki communities also participated in the event, and along with Muslim activists, they served sweet and water to people. Ambedkar Sena (Mool Niwasi) president Harbhajan Suman said they had united against Manuwadi forces. “We shall keep on opposing their divisive agenda,” he said.

It was a second major show of Dalit, Sikh and Muslim groups coming under the same roof. Earlier on July 22, 2016, Dalits and Sikhs were all in support for Muslims when right wing Hindu groups attacked a mosque. In Jalandhar too, Sikh groups held ‘chhabeels’ at quite a few places. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/dalits-muslims-join-at-chhabeel/articleshow/59031129.cms?from=mdr

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