Punjab: Mobile internet temporarily suspended in Patiala one day after clashes. See details here

Following a massive clash between two groups in which four people were injured, mobile internet services were temporarily suspended in Patiala, Punjab on Saturday. Additionally, three senior police officers were also transferred in connection with the incident on the instructions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has ordered the transfer with immediate effect of Inspector General of Police (IG) Patiala, Rakesh Aggarwal, Chief Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala, Nanak Singh and Superintendent of Police ( SP) Harpal Singh, according to a spokesperson. from the office of the Chief Minister.

Authorities imposed a curfew in the district yesterday until 6am today after clashes erupted near the Kali Devi temple in the town of Patiala on Friday afternoon as members of two groups threw stones at each other and brandished swords. Police were deployed to bring the situation under control. Two police officers were among the injured, according to the news agency ANI report.

The Punjab government has temporarily suspended mobile internet services from 9.30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the city today. In accordance with an official order, “…there is a risk of tension, inconvenience, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to life and property, disturbance of the public peace and tranquility within the boundaries of Patiala district due to recent public order events.”

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

“.. (i) Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) (ii) all SMS services and (iii) all dongle services etc. provided over mobile networks except voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of Patiala District from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on April 30,” the official order reads.

After the clashes, the Shiv Sena on Friday expelled incumbent Chairman Harish Singla from its Punjab unit on Friday who had led a march in Patiala on Friday after which clashes erupted 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 developments and said one person had been arrested in connection with the clashes.

She said: “FIRs have been filed and raids are ongoing. We appeal to the public to keep the peace. From 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. today, mobile internet services will remain temporarily suspended as a sign of abundant caution on the part of the government. One person has been arrested.”

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

(With agency contributions)

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