Patiala: Mobile internet services here in Punjab, have been temporarily halted, and three senior officers have been moved, a day after violence between two factions. Inspector General of Police Rakesh Agarwal, SSP (senior superintendent of police) Nanak Singh, and SP (superintendent of police) city Harpal Singh have all been transferred by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
“Divulging the details a spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said that Mukhwinder Singh Chinna has been appointed as new IG Patiala while Deepak Parik and Wazir Singh have been appointed as new SSP and SP of Patiala respectively,” a statement from CM’s office said.
In the district, mobile internet services are still unavailable from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. “… there is likelihood of tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquility within the limits of district Patiala due to the recent law and order events,” an official order read. 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,” it added.
“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.
This is the province’s first big event since chief minister Bhagwant Mann assumed office in March. The chief minister remarked in a tweet on Friday. “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.”
Four people were injured in a conflict between members of a right-wing organisation and Sikh radicals during an anti-Khalistan protest on Friday, prompting a curfew in the district (which will last until 6 a.m. on Saturday). Officials reported clashes erupted outside the city’s Kali Devi temple on Friday afternoon, prompting police to fire rounds into the air to keep the gathering under control.
According to police, members of a right-wing organisation called Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), which is unrelated to Shiv Sena, organised a ‘Khalistan Murdabad’ march from Arya Samaj Chowk to Kali Devi shrine.
Harish Singla, the outfit’s leader, was eventually apprehended.