Chandigarh: The Punjab police arrested Sunday morning Barjinder Singh Parwana, one of the masterminds of the April 29 clash between members of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) and Khalistan supporters in Patiala which left four persons injured.
Curfew was clamped in Patiala after the Friday afternoon clash till Saturday morning and mobile internet services were snapped till Saturday evening to check the rumours spread. The government also transferred three top police officers after the clash.
Addressing newspersons on Sunday afternoon in Patiala, inspector general of police (IGP), Patiala range, Mukhwinder Singh Chhina said that the main accused Barjinder Singh Parwana had been arrested from near the airport, Mohali, in the wee hours.
Parwana was presented before a local court in Patiala and where he was sent to 4-day police remand for further questioning.
Chhina said two others also held were Shankar Bhardwaj, an accomplice of the working president of Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) Harish Singla - who was held on Friday itself on charges of taking out the procession without permission and instigating violence, and another accused Jaggi Pandit had also been arrested. Besides Singla, two others already arrested were Daljeet Singh and Kuldeep Singh in connection with Friday violence. The police had registered six FIRs in the case and identified about 25 accused in them.
It may be recalled that the clashes had taken place outside the Kali Mata temple when members of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) began an anti-Khalistan March on April 29. Some Khalistan supporters also took out a march against the Sena’s march and stones were pelted from both sides and swords brandished, leaving four persons injured.
The Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) working president Harish Singla had announced several days ago to take out a march against the call given by banned outfit Sikh for Justice’s (SFJ’s) Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, to observe Khalistan Day on April 29. Protesting against the Sena march, Parwana had also said on social media he would not allow anyone to hold such an event.
Police said that Parwana, who is the head of the Sikh group Damdami Taksal, Rajpura, had also been accused of inciting militancy on social media in the past. He has also been known for his comments on the anti-terror law and the 1984 riots in the past.
Meanwhile, this was the first time the state saw violence over such an issue after Bhagwant Mann-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) formed the government about two months ago. The ruling AAP evoked severe criticism from the opposition over the said incident.