Patiala clashes: Top cops transferred, mobile services banned

Chandigarh, April 30 : Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab government on Saturday transferred the Patiala range Inspector General of Police (IG), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and Superintendent of Police (SP) with immediate effect following sudden communal clashes in the Patiala city. State Home Secretary Anurag Verma issued notice banning Mobile Internet and SMS services in the district on from 9.30 am to 6 pm adding to Friday’s prohibitionary measures. A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Mukhwinder Singh Chinna has been appointed as new Patiala range IG while Deepak Parik and Wazir Singh have been appointed as new SSP and SP of Patiala respectively. The Kotwali police station officers arrested expelled Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla for his involvement in the Friday clashes between two groups, who took out processions without prior notice from their respective places of worship and then clashed with policemen. At least four people were injured, including a law officer. The decision were implemented a day after Mann met with the DGP and other senior officials to discuss the Patiala violence incident. Extremely annoyed by the violence, Mann met the top officers and officials, terming the incident as “unfortunate”, he issued instructions to probe the matter and added that “no guilty should be spared”. Mann on Friday ordered arrests of culprits at the earliest. The DGP was directed to keep a close watch on the law and order situation. An FIR has been registered against the Pro-Khalistan elements in Patiala, and efforts were underway to identify the people using video footage. There have raids and searches at several locations. Many people were injured in fencing and stone pelting in the fierce clashes between the two groups regarding the anti-Khalistan march outside the Kali Mata temple in Patiala. Tension quickly spread in the area and the police had to impose an all-night curfew. Hindu organizations have announced Patiala Bandh on Saturday. Following which Section 144 was imposed in many districts and mobile-internet services stopped till 6 pm.


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