Patiala Clashes: Top Police Officers Removed; Internet, Messaging Services Suspended Till 6PM
Anti-Khalistan March: Mobile internet services to be temporarily suspended in Punjab's Patiala a day after the city witnessed clashes. The services will remain suspended till 6 PM.
Patiala: A day after Patiala witnessed clashes between two groups during an anti-Khalistan march that left four people injured, the Punjab government, while taking strict action against the state police, removed three top officers in the department over their failure to control the violence in the district. The inspector general of police (Patiala Range) Rakesh Aggarwal, the Patiala senior superintendent of police Nanak Singh and the superintendent of police Wazir Singh were transferred from the post following orders from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
Punjab | Police officers Nanak Singh and Rakesh Agrawal, who were posted as SSP Patiala and IG Patiala, transferred with immediate effect
This is a govt (transfer) order. We are here in Patiala to maintain law & order, says police officer Rakesh Agrawal. pic.twitter.com/yRb8NOSM5V
— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2022
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Meanwhile, Mobile internet services has been temporarily suspended from 9:30 am to 6 pm in Patiala today as tension gripped the city after two groups clashed outside a temple during an anti-Khalistan rally. Stopping the spread of misinformation is necessary “to thwart the designs and activities of anti-national and anti-social groups/ elements and maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life or damage to public/private property,” the official order read. “Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) (ii) all SMS services and (iii) all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except voice calls” have been suspended till 6 pm on Saturday.
Mobile internet services temporarily suspended from 9:30 am to 6 pm in Patiala today: Dept of Home Affairs, Government of Punjab pic.twitter.com/uYu99aECzU
— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2022
On Friday, a curfew was clamped in Patiala following the clash between two groups over an ‘anti-Khalistan march’. Police opened fire in the air to bring the situation under control. The curfew will be in place between 7 pm on Friday to 6 am on Saturday in Patiala district, authorities said.
Hours later, police arrested Harish Singla, working president of a group called “Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray)” for taking out the procession without permission and instigating violence. Harish Singla said the march was organised as a reply to the announcement by an US-based banned group called Sikhs for Justice (SFJ) to mark April 29 as the ‘Foundation Day of Khalistan’. The SFJ is headed by one Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
This is the first major incident Punjab has seen after chief minister Bhagwant Mann took charge in March. On Friday, the chief minister said: “The incident of clashes in Patiala are deeply unfortunate. I spoke with the DGP, peace has been restored in the area. We are closely monitoring the situation and will not let anyone create disturbance in the State. Punjab’s peace and harmony is of utmost importance.”
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