Patiala violence: Internet suspended day after clashes; Hindu organisations call for bandh | Details Inside

Image Source : PTI

Left: A policeman fires in air to maintain law after a clash broke out between followers of Shiv Sena and pro-Khalistani Sikh organisations, near Kali Mata Mandir in Patiala/Right: Security personnel attempt to maintain law and order. 

Patiala violence: The Punjab government on Saturday suspended mobile internet and SMS services, except voice calls, in Patiala district a day after clashes between two groups over an anti-Khalistan march left four people injured. The order to suspend the services was issued by the home affairs and justice department and heavy police security was deployed at the site of the clashes outside the Kali Mata temple in Patiala.

“In exercise of power conferred upon me by virtue of temporary suspension of telecom services (public emergency or public safety) rules, 2017, I Anurag Verma, principal secretary, home affairs and justice, do hereby order suspension of the mobile internet services (2G/3G/45/CDMA), all SMS services and all dongle services etc provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of the district of Patiala from 9:30 am to 6 pm on April 30,” the order read.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner added “FIRs have been lodged, raids are underway. We appeal to public to maintain peace. From 9.30am to 6pm today mobile internet services will remain temporarily suspended as a step of abundant caution by the govt.” “We are indentifying people who attacked the the Kali Mata temple in Patiala,” Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sahni added. Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla has been arrested in connection with the incident. 

According to sources, Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann is not happy with the police probe so far. The top police officials’ late response to the violence has irked the CM. Mann ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident of clashes in Patiala and directed the top brass of police department that none of any culprit responsible for this unfortunate incident should be spared. The state government has transffered the Inspector General of Police (IG) Patiala range, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala and Superintendent of Police (SP) with immediate effect. Mukhwinder Singh Chinna has been appointed as new IG Patiala, Deepak Parik appointed as new SSP Patiala and Wazir Singh has been appointed as new SP of Patiala. Meanwhile, Hindu groups have threatened a citywide bandh in the wake of the violence. 

Four people were injured as the two groups clashed and hurled stones at each other on Friday and police fired in the air to bring the situation under control.

Also Read | Patiala violence: Curfew imposed after clash breaks out between two groups; Sena leader arrested

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