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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Patiala clash: From holding event without permission, to temple attack — a look at the six FIRs

Patiala police registered as many as six FIRs in connection with the violent clashes in Patiala. The Indian Express accessed the copies to take a look at the allegations.

Written by Navjeevan Gopal | Chandigarh |
Updated: May 2, 2022 8:59:49 am
A clash between a faction of Shiv Sena and Nihang Sikhs had broken out near a Kali temple in Patiala on Friday. (Express Photo By Harmeet Sodhi)

Patiala police registered as many as six FIRs in connection with the violent clashes in Patiala on Friday between Nihang and Sikh activists on one side and Shiv Sena leaders and other right wing leaders associated with Mata Kali Devi temple on the other. A senior Punjab police officer said at least two more FIRs were subsequently lodged following investigations.

The Indian Express accessed the copies of the six FIRs which were initially lodged on Friday after the violent clashes. Here are the details:

FIR number 71 registered at police station division number four also known as Lahori Gate police station

This FIR was registered against unknown Nihangs on the complaint of 28-year-old Karanbir Singh Sandhu, the Tripuri police station Station House Officer who lives in Model Town locality of Patiala and alleged that he was performing “law and order duty” alongwith other police officials in Deputy Commissioner office parking and was told over phone around 11:30 am by senior officials to report to “Khanda Chowk” with force where “Nihang Singhs were about to hold march without any permission”. In the complaint, Karanbir said he reached with force at the chowk and where “60/70 Nihang Singhs had gathered armed with deadly kirpans, sharp edged weapons and canes and who were raising pro-Khalistani slogans and marching towards railway crossing number 21 on foot. I was going along them with my force, requesting them time and again that “your march is illegal” and it can vitiate the atmosphere of the town. There were other officers too who were issuing instructions to them not to carry out the march. Karanbir stated that one of the Nihangs attacked him with sword “on my head and I tried to duck with my arms”, but sustained an injury in the process between thumb and his right hand finger. Karanbir said two unknown Nihangs hit him on right ankle with a cane and on chest with fists, and merged with the crowd of Nihangs after the police force headed there. Karanbir, who stated that he was hospitalized for treatment, said he can “identify” the assailants”.

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A view of the clash site in Patiala where bricks and stones lay scattered. (Express Photo By Harmeet Sodhi)

FIR number 72 registered at Kotwali police station, Patiala

This FIR against unknown persons was registered at Kotwali Police Station, Patiala on the complaint of Ajwali village resident 40-year-old Balwinder Singh who stated that he was a truck driver. Balwinder said he was present at Gurdwara Dukh Niwaran Sahib at “a peaceful protest at noon” when someone told that Shiv Sena activists had “gone live on social media raising Khalistan Murdabad slogans”. Following this, Balwinder said, “We started marching towards Kali Mata temple on foot and Shiv Sena supporters started hurling stones at us”. Balwinder added that “there were sounds of Shiv Sena supporters opening fire after some time and one bullet hit me on my left thigh and I collapsed there”. Balwinder said he was first taken to Kaushalya Devi Hospital in Patiala that “did not admit him” and subsequently he got admitted in Rajindra Hospital Patiala. Balwinder said that the bullet was fired by “unknown Shiv Sena supporter” whom  he can “identify him after being produced before me”

# FIR number 73 registered at Kotwali police station Patiala

The FIR was registered against unknown persons on the complaint of 56-year-old Ashutosh Gautam, who identifies self as all India general secretary and a member of Veer Hakeekat Rai Sabha. Ashutosh said he got a phone call from “an acquaintance” during a meeting of the Sabha being held around 1 pm [on Friday] that some Sikh organizations had attacked Kali Mata temple in protest against anti-Khalistan march given by Harish Singla. Gautam said that he was attacked and sustained a sharp-edged weapon injury on his leg inflicted by “an unknown Sikh” and “to save our lives we retaliated”. Gautam alleged that Sikh activists attacked the temple, ransacked the shops and hurled stones.  Gautam said he sustained a “kirpan injury on his right thigh” even as “police tried to stop confrontation between the two factions”. Gautam said his supporters got him admitted to Rajindra Hospital. Gautam said he can “identify persons who attacked him.”

An 11-hour curfew was also imposed in Patiala from 7 pm on Friday after the police fired several rounds in the air to avert the clash. (Express Photo By Harmeet Sodhi)

FIR number 74 registered at Kotwali Police Station Patiala

This FIR was registered against Shiv Sena leader Harish Singla following a correspondence by Sub Inspector Mewa Singh. The complaint against Singla, as per the FIR reads that, “a special informer” told that “Singla who claims to be the [working] president of Shiv Sena Bal Thackerey” went on to organize an “illegal gathering without the permission of the district administration” and “who a week ago indulged in creating rift between the Hindus and the Sikhs with his accomplices”. The FIR reads that Singla and his supporters tried to vitiate the atmosphere and “hurt the religious feelings” of the people. The complainant in the FIR alleged that that as the “passing Sikh community expressed anger [over the march], Singla and his 40/45 other uknown persons attacked the members of the Sikh community with swords and deadly weapons”. The FIR further reads, “The police force that was present tried to stop them but they interfered in the government duty and manhandled the cops, where many cops got injured”.

FIR number 75 registered at Kotwali police station Patiala

This FIR was registered against unknown persons on the complaint of 45-year-old Swaran Singh, a resident of Mirapur village in Patiala district, who alleged that during the clash between the two factions he was accompanying Patiala SSP and was attacked as they tried to assuage the tempers and sustained an injury on right arm.

FIR number 76 registered at Kotwali police Station Patiala

This FIR was registered on the complaint of 52-year-old Rajesh Kehar who said he was vice president of Hindu Surakhya Samiti. He alleged that “Sikh activists attacked the Kali Devi temple and shops around it and also stole around Rs 25000 to Rs 30000 from two shops”.

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