The alleged mastermind and main conspirator behind the violent clashes in Punjab’s Patiala, Barjinder Singh Parwana, was arrested by police in Mohali on Sunday morning.
“He will be presented before a court to obtain his police remand. Police have also arrested Shankar Bhardwaj, who is Harish Singla’s known, and three more Sikh radicals also arrested. One other person who posted hate speech was arrested,” said Range Inspector General M S Chhina.
The accused was brought from Mumbai by Vistara flight to Mohali airport at 7.20 am. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Patiala team headed by Inspector Shaminder Singh arrested him at the Mohali airport.
On Friday, violence clashes erupted between members of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), who had called for an “anti-Khalistan” march, and Sikh activists and Nihangs brandishing swords outside the Kali Mata temple. The incident had led to stone-pelting by both sides, police officials had said, adding that at least four persons, including two policemen, were injured in the clash.
The police booked 25 accused by name so far in six FIRs registered in connection with Friday’s incident which left four persons injured. Mobile internet and SMS services were suspended from 9.30 am by the state’s home affairs and justice department till 4 pm.
The Punjab government on Saturday shunted out three senior police officers including an inspector general even as Patiala was limping back to normalcy with security personnel keeping a tight vigil.
The AAP government in the state transferred Inspector General of Police (Patiala Range) Rakesh Agrawal, Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Nanak Singh and the Patiala superintendent of police with immediate effect. A spokesperson of the Chief Minister’s Office said Mukhwinder Singh Chhina was appointed as the new IG-Patiala while Deepak Parik will be the new Patiala SSP. Wazir Singh has been appointed as the new superintendent of police of Patiala.
Singla was arrested on Friday after he was booked under various sections including 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
This is the first major law and order incident in the state under the Bhagwant Mann-led state government. Opposition parties had attacked the AAP-led regime, alleging that the law and order in the state had collapsed.