The Punjab Police on Wednesday set up a five-member SIT to probe the last week’s group clashes over an anti-Khalistan march that had left four people injured in Patiala
Inspector general of Police (Patiala Range) Mukhwinder Singh Chhina said the SIT has been set up under the supervision of superintendent of police Mehtab Singh. “It will carry out a detailed probe into the April 29 clash here between two groups,” said Chhina.
The other members of the SIT include two deputy superintendents of police and the station house officer of Kotwali police station.
Clashes broke out between members of a right-wing group and Sikh radicals during a “Khalistan Murdabad” march from Arya Samaj Chowk to Kali Devi temple in Patiala on Friday. Police had to fire in the air to bring the situation under control
Harish Singla, chief of the right-wing group Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), who had organised the march was the first to be arrested. Singla had claimed that the march was taken out in protest of banned outfit Sikhs for Justice convener Gurpatwant Singh Pannu’s announcement marking April 29 as Khalistan’s foundation day.
The following day, police identified Sikh radical leader Barjinder Singh Parwana as the main conspirator. In all, police named 24 people in six FIRs registered for the violence. Parwana and a number of other suspects have been arrested so far. The Punjab government had also shunted out six police officers, including the Patiala Range inspector general, after the clash.
Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann had said that the clashes were between two political parties and not two communities, and warned of strict action against those behind the violence.