Day after clashes, mobile internet suspended in Patiala, CM Mann orders transfer of police officials

Patiala: Mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended on Saturday in Punjab’s Patiala, which a day ago witnessed clashes between two groups in which four people were injured. Three senior police officials have also been transferred in connection with the incident on the directions of chief minister Bhagwant Mann.

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CM Mann has directed the transfer with immediate effect of Inspector General of Police (IG) Patiala range, Rakesh Aggarwal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala, Nanak Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Harpal Singh, according to a spokesperson from the chief minister’s office.

Authorities imposed a curfew in the district yesterday till 6 am today after clashes broke out near the Kali Devi Temple in Patiala city on Friday afternoon as members of two groups hurled stones and brandished swords at each other. Police personnel were deployed to bring under control the situation. Two policemen were among those injured.

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On Saturday morning the Punjab government temporarily suspended mobile internet services from 9:30 am to 6 pm in the city today.

“… there is likelihood of tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquility within the limits of district Patiala due to the recent law and order events,” an official order read.

By stopping the spread of misinformation is necessary “to thwart the designs and activities of anti-national and anti-social groups/ elements and maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life or damage to public/private property,” the order said.

“.. (i) Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) (ii) all SMS services and (iii) 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 April 30,” the official order said.

After the clashes the Shiv Sena on Friday expelled from its Punjab unit working president Harish Singla who had led a march in Patiala on Friday after which clashes broke out in the city. Singla was later arrested in connection with the incident. Locals say the situation is peaceful and devotees continue to visit the temple today.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney confirmed the development and said that one person has been arrested with regard to the clashes.

She said, “FIRs have been lodged and raids are underway. We appeal to public to maintain peace. From 9.30 am to 6pm today, mobile internet services will remain temporarily suspended as a step of abundant caution by the government. One person has been arrested.”

Patiala’s Senior Superintendent of Police, Nanak Singh told reporters today that the police and administration will share factual information and no misinformation should be believed in the said incident.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has ordered a probe into the clash and said that strict action will be taken against those behind the violence.

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