Mobile internet service that was temporarily suspended in Punjab’s Patiala district owing to law and order situation has now been restored. The services were snapped on Saturday, a day after clashes broke out between a right-wing Hindu group Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) and pro-Khalisatni activists. Initially, mobile internet services were supposed to remain suspended till 6pm.
Punjab chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Bhagwant Mann earlier today ordered the transfer of three senior police officials in wake of the clashes. Inspector General of Police (IG) Patiala range, Rakesh Aggarwal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala, Nanak Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Harpal Singh have been transferred, a statement from the chief minister’s office read.
Harish Singla, leader of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) outfit – which is not connected with the Shiv Sena, is the sole person to have been arrested in the incident so far. He was nabbed by Punjab Police on Friday late evening following a high-level meeting chaired by Mann.
Meanwhile, the chief minister has ordered an inquiry into the clashes and asked police not to spare any culprit. He has also asked Punjab director general of police (DGP) VK Bhawra to keep a close tab over the current scenario in Patiala and constantly update him.
On Friday evening, Patiala administration announced a curfew in the district till 6am Saturday. After the curfew was lifted earlier today, the news of temporary shutting of mobile internet services and transfer of three cops emerged.
In other development to the story, a fresh protest took place outside the Kali Devi temple in Patiala – the site of yesterday’s clashes, on Saturday. A Hindu body known as Shiv Sena Hindustan led the agitation, with its president Yograj Sharman telling news agency ANI that the Hindus of Punjab “are ready to protest”.
Violence erupted on Friday after Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) organised a ‘Khalistan Murdabad’ march from Patiala’s Arya Samaj to the Kali temple. This prompted pro-Khalistani supporters assembling in large numbers, and later both sides engaged in violence by throwing stones at each other and brandishing swords. Police fired 15 rounds of shots in the air to bring the situation under control.
(With inputs from bureau)