- A clash broke out between 2 groups in Patiala near Kali Mata temple over “anti-Khalistan march”.
- A curfew has been imposed from 7 pm to 6 am in Patiala after the clashes, said officials.
- Hours after violence, around 9 pm, Punjab Police arrested Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla in case.
A clash broke out between two groups in Patiala near the Kali Mata temple over an “anti-Khalistan march” on Friday, where people were seen pelting stones and brandishing swords. Police had to fire in the air to bring the situation under control. Some Sikh activists, including Nihangs, took out another march against the Sena event. Hours after the violence, at 9 pm, Punjab Police arrested Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla.
Clashes broke out when the two groups came face-to-face with each other. They hurled stones against each other. The temple gates were locked and police deployed in large numbers to prevent the situation from escalating further in the city, police said. Two people, including a policeman, were injured, in the stone-pelting, they added.
A curfew has been imposed from 7 pm to 6 am in Patiala after the clashes, said officials.
There was heavy police deployment at the spot to maintain a law and order situation. Patiala Inspector General of Police Rakesh Agarwal told reporters in Patiala that the situation was now under control.
"We have called force from outside. A Peace committee meeting has been called by the Deputy Commissioner," he said, adding restoring peace in the area was their priority.
'Khalistan Murdabad March'
The "Khalistan Murdabad March” was organised by “Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray)” leader Harish Singla. The march started from Arya Samaj Chowk with the Sena activists raising the “Khalistan Murdabad” slogan. Singla said Gurpatwant Pannun of the Sikhs for Justice had announced to observe April 29 as the "foundation day of Khalistan”.
"To answer them, the Sena had also decided to take out ‘Khalistan Murdabad March’ on April 29," he said.
CM's high level meet
In his residence at Chandigarh, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann met with DGP, Home Secretary, and other senior officers. After the meeting, the CM said that he directed officials to launch an immediate investigation of the case. In a tweet in Hindi, the CM said that "Anti-Punjab forces will not be allowed to disturb the peace of Punjab at any cost."
Ealier, the CM termed the incident unfortunate and said he was in touch with the DGP of Punjab police. "The incident of clashes in Patiala is deeply unfortunate. I have spoken to 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," Mann said in a tweet.
"Punjab's peace and harmony are of utmost importance," the chief minister said.
(with PTI, ANI inputs)