Clashes took place outside the Kali Mata temple when members of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) outfit started ‘Khalistan Murdabad March’. During the march, members of two groups- Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) outfit and Shikh activists including some Nihangs- started waving swords and engaging in stone pelting at each other.
Patiala: Curfew was imposed in Punjab’s Patiala after communal clashes broke out between two groups during an anti-Khalistan protest march on Friday. Curfew has reportedly been imposed in the city from 7pm today till 6 am on Saturday. Four persons including two policemen were reportedly injured during the incident. Police fired bullets in the air and the situation was reported to be under control.
Police have arrested Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla in connection with the incident. The march was reportedly called by the arrested Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) which was started from Arya Samaj Chowk with the Sena activists raising the “Khalistan Murdabad” slogan. The leader had reportedly organised the march without seeking official permission. Shiv Sena (Hindustan) has given the call for ‘Patiala Bandh’ on Saturday.
As per the report, clashes took place outside the Kali Mata temple when members of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) outfit started ‘Khalistan Murdabad March’. During the march, members of two groups- Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) outfit and Shikh activists including some Nihangs- started waving swords and engaging in stone pelting at each other. Later, Sikh activists took out a counter march against the Sena rally. The supporters blocked Patiala’s Fountain Chawk and shouted pro Khalistan slogans. The area witnessed a tense atmosphere and elaborate security arrangements were done to restore peace in the region.
Law enforcement agencies reportedly arrested the Shiv Sena leader after a high-level meeting chaired by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. The CM tweeted (in Punjabi), “A meeting of the DGP and all the top officials was called on the incident in Patiala. Directed the immediate investigation of the case and gave strict instructions to the officials that not a single culprit should be spared. Anti-Punjab forces will not be allowed to disturb the peace of Punjab at any cost.”
He also called the incident unfortunate and maintained that the Punjab government will not allow anyone to create disturbance in the state. “The incident of clashes in Patiala is deeply unfortunate. I spoke with the DGP, and 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.”
Ctiricising the incident, former Punjab CM Captain Amrinder Singh tweeted, “Concerned about the tense situation arising due to clashes between 2 groups in Patiala. People of Patiala are peace loving and I appeal to them not to get provoked. Hope that @PunjabPoliceInd will take firm action and ensure that law and order is maintained.”
Meanwhile, videos circulated on various social media platforms of people brandishing swords and shouting slogans. Many of them even argue and engage with the police personnel. One video showed a man standing atop a building near the temple and throwing stones amid chaos.
BJP national secretary Y Satya Kumar tweeted, “Welcome to AAP’s Punjab. You can raise Pro-Khalistan slogans on streets of Punjab and no action will be taken against you. Dare you try to stop or confront those Anti-national voices, get ready to be served by Punjab Police. Today’s incident in Patiala is just beginning.”