Massive tension has devoured parts of Patiala in Punjab after two groups clashed outside a temple during an anti-Khalistan rally on April 29, leaving at least four, including two police officers, injured. In order to bring the situation under control, the police had to fire shots in the air as well.
As a result of the violent clash, an 11-hour curfew has also been placed in the district, from 7 pm on Friday, to maintain peace and law and order. However, the court stated that all essential and emergency services would be exempted from the order.
Sloganeering And Stone Pelting
Conflicts broke out after a group that called itself the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) led a procession - "Khalistan Murdabad March" and clashed with a group of Sikh activists, including some Nihangs, and started shouting sloganeering and throwing stones at one another.
On the back of this, numerous Sikh activists, including Nihangs, took out a countermarch against the Sena rally. The supporters even blocked Patiala's Fountain Chawk and shouted slogans supporting Khalistan.
What Actually Happened In Patiala?
The anti-Khalistan march started at 10 am on Friday from Arya Samaj temple in Patiala. However, pro-Khalistani activists soon gathered at the Dukh Nivaaran gurdwara and started shouting slogans. The police stopped them at the gurdwara itself, but they managed to move towards the protest march, reported IndiaToday. The group reportedly continued its march towards the Baradari and the Kali Mata temple with spears, swords and other weapons.
When the anti-Khalistan march neared a Kali Mata temple, they were confronted by the Sikh group and started throwing stones at one another. The backers of the Sena gathered, who were inside the Kali Mata temple complex, also joined in and started pelting stones at the pro-Khakistani group- who were allegedly instigating them from the outside.
As a result of this violent scuffle between the two groups, the temple gates were promptly locked to stop any untoward incident and forces were soon deployed to prevent an escalation, the police added.
"We have called forces from outside. A peace committee meeting has been called by the Deputy Commissioner," Rakesh Agarwal, Patiala Inspector General of Police, stated. He also added that cops are conducting flag marches in the city.
Pro And Anti-Khalistani Supports Clash
Numerous video clips of a section of individuals brandishing swords and shouting slogans started surfacing on social media soon after. Many even confronted police personnel as the problem escalated. In one of those videos, a man stands on top of a building near the temple and throws stones amid the chaos. Numerous members of the two groups were also seen throwing stones and waving swords at each other too.
Measures Taken To Maintain Peace
Mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended from 9:30 am to 6 pm in Patiala on Saturday as tension gripped the city, reported ANI.
Furthermore, Shiv Sena's Punjab unit's working president Harish Singla, who was removed from the party on the back of the clashes, has been arrested so far. The party has also suspended a few other workers for their alleged role in the crashes.
Also Read: Concerning! Here's How 'Perfect Storm' Pandemic Caused 80% Spike In Measles Cases Worldwide