Patiala violence: 2 hurt in clashes near Kali temple, curfew till 6 am Saturday

Updated on Apr 29, 2022 05:47 PM IST

Patiala violence: Police said it was in talks with the chief of the local Shiv Sena, one of the two groups involved in clashes.

Police personnel patrol the street to maintain law and order after the clash that erupted between two groups near Kali Devi Temple in Patiala on Friday. (ANI Photo)(Harmeet Sodhi)
Police personnel patrol the street to maintain law and order after the clash that erupted between two groups near Kali Devi Temple in Patiala on Friday. (ANI Photo)(Harmeet Sodhi)
By | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan

Tension gripped Punjab's Patiala town on Friday after members of a group that calls itself Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) and pro-Khalistani activists clashed by throwing stones at each other and brandishing swords, prompting police to fire in the air to bring the situation near the local Kali Devi Temple under control. 

Chief minister Bhagwant Mann is meeting with VK Bhawra, the state's top cop, and other senior officers to review the situation. 

A curfew has been imposed till 6 am Saturday citing 'incidents of breach of peace and disputes between certain different groups... which can result in further disturbance of peace and maintenance of law and order in the state'.

The trouble began when radical Sikh elements came out in large numbers to oppose the Khalistan Murdabad March organised by the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray). Harish Singla, the executive president of the outfit, led the anti-separatist march from Patiala's Arya Samaj Chowk to Kali Devi Temple. 

Amid slogan-raising, Singla said: "The Shiv Sena will never allow Khalistan to be formed in Punjab or anywhere in India." He also said banned Sikhs for Justice convener Gurpatwant Pannu had led calls to mark the foundation day of Khalistan on April 29.

READ: Patiala clashes - What happened and who said what?

The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) march was organised to oppose Pannu’s call.

At the same time, a large number of Khalistan supporters reached the spot and both sides began throwing stones at each other.

Chief minister Mann tweeted that he state government was closely monitoring the situation and called the violence 'deeply unfortunate'.

"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," he tweeted.

Patiala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nanak Singh reached the spot and 15 rounds were fired in the air to bring the situation under control. A Hindu activist, Ashutosh Gautam, and a cop, Karamvir Singh, were among the injured.

The situation continues to remain tense as Khalistan supporters are gathered outside the Kali Mata temple, where rival leaders were camped.

The police tried to dissuade the Sikh activists but they were adamant on opposing the protest against Khalistan.

The anti-riot force was requisitioned to control the situation.

The district administration has appealed to people to maintain peace and harmony. Even if there is any dispute or misunderstanding, it is important to resolve it by dialogue, deputy commissioner Sakshi Sawhney said, urging people not to fall prey to unsubstantiated information and social media forwards

Meanwhile, the Congress' Partap Singh Bajwa has slammed the ruling Aam Aadmi Party and chief minister Mann, calling the events ‘complete anarchy'.

"Disturbing visuals from Patiala. It’s high time Punjab CM gets his house in order. Law & order has collapsed in past month with one incident after the other. CM should immediately visit Patiala with DGP Punjab," he tweeted.

The AAP's Harpal Singh Cheema also tweeted. “I strongly condemn the clashes that took place in Patiala today. Appealing all sections of society to follow the path of peace and humanity," he said.

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    A special correspondent, Vishal Rambani is the bureau chief at Patiala. He covers politics, crime, power sector, environment and socio-economic issues, with several investigative stories to his credit.

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