Punjab Patiala Clashes: Internet Blocked, Top Cops Removed, The Punjab government today took harsh action against the state police, ousting three top officials from their jobs for their failure to contain the violence in the district, a day after confrontations between two factions during an anti-Khalistan march in Patiala left four persons injured. According to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the violence in Patiala were political, not communal, as previously reported. Shiv Sena and BJP activists, as well as Shiromani Akali Dal men, were behind the clashes.
Following orders from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who is reportedly furious over the police response to the violence, the Inspector General of Police (Patiala Range), the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police, and the Superintendent of Police were all transferred from their positions.
According to the Patiala police, three people have been arrested so far, and six FIRs have been filed in the matter. Patiala IGP MS Chinna claimed during a news conference that the principal accused, who was leading the pro-Khalistan group, is on the run and that they will “leave no stone unturned” to get him. Harish Singla, the leader of the Shiv Sena, is among those detained. He was sentenced to two days in police imprisonment by a judge today.
Mukhwinder Singh Chinna, the new IG-Patiala Range, and Deepak Parik, the new senior superintendent of police for Patiala, according to a spokeswoman for the Chief Minister’s Office. Wazir Singh has been named the new Patiala Superintendent of Police.
The city’s curfew, which was imposed at 7 p.m. yesterday, was lifted at 6 a.m. today, but mobile internet and SMS services were disabled to avoid rumor-mongering, officials said.
A curfew was imposed Friday evening after four people were hurt when two groups clashed in this Punjab city over an anti-Khalistan march, hurling stones at each other. To bring the situation under control, police opened fire in the air.
Hours later, police detained Harish Singla, the “Shiv Sena ” working president, for disrupting the parade without permission and inciting violence.
The march, according to Harish Singla, was organized in response to the Sikhs for Justice’s statement that April 29 will be designated as the “foundation day of Khalistan.” Gurpatwant Singh Pannun is the leader of the outlawed organization based in the United States.
Police officers account for two of the four people hurt in the assault. According to police, their health is stable. They’ve filed a report about the violence. In a letter to the Punjab government, the National Commission for Minorities requested a report on the Patiala violence within a week. Opposition leaders slammed the new Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab over the violence.
“Visuals from Patiala are worrisome,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted, emphasizing the importance of peace and harmony.
Following the confrontation, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann called a high-level meeting of police. Later, the CM announced that he had launched an investigation into the incident and that no one would be spared.
“At whatever cost, anti-Punjab forces would not be permitted to disrupt Punjab tranquilly,” he stated.
We’ve got the matter under control. In Patiala, we are also holding a flag march “Added he.
Sakshi Sawhney, Patiala Deputy Commissioner-cum District Magistrate, remarked, “We appeal to people to stay calm and not to believe any rumours.”