Top Cops Removed, Internet Blocked After Clashes in Punjab’s Patiala.
A day after Patiala witnessed clashes between two groups during an anti-Khalistan march that left four people injured, the Punjab government today took strict action against the state police, removing three top officers from their posts over their failure to control the violence in the district.
The clashes in Patiala were political and not communal as reported earlier, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann told NDTV today, saying that Shiv Sena and BJP workers and Shiromani Akali Dal men were behind the clashes.
The Inspector General of Police (Patiala Range), the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police and the Superintendent of Police were transferred from the post following orders from Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who is reportedly upset about the police response to the violence, sources told NDTV.
A curfew that was imposed in the city at 7 pm yesterday was lifted at 6 am today but mobile internet and SMS services were blocked in the city to prevent rumour-mongering, officials said. All mobile internet and SMS services, except voice calls, will remain suspended in the district from 9:30 am till 6 pm, the state government said.
“Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/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 30th April 2022.All Telecom Services providers in the State of Punjab and Head of BSNL (Punjab Jurisdiction) are hereby directed to ensure compliance of this order,” said the state government release.
“Peace and calm should be maintained. The situation is under control. Mobile internet services are temporarily suspended today to stop rumour-mongering. FIRs filed in three instances. On the basis of evidence gathered from video footage action will be taken,” she added.
“The issue has been solved. There were few Shiv Sena members, and some from the BJP, their district head. On the other side, there were Shiromani Akali Dal workers. It was a clash between two political parties. It was not a communal clash,” Mr Mann said.
The situation was brought under control after police fired in the air to disperse the crowd.