Thursday, August 11, 2022

Mobile internet services blackout imposed in Patiala a day after clashes in city

The administration temporarily suspended mobile internet services in Punjab’s Patiala on Saturday, a day after clashes broke out between “anti-Khalistan” and “pro-Khalistan” groups in the city. Three senior police officials have also been transferred in view of the incident. Inspector-General of Police (IG) Patiala range, Rakesh Aggarwal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala, Nanak Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Harpal Singh have been handed transfer orders on Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s direction, according to the CMO.

The official order declaring the suspension of mobile internet services read, “… there is likelihood of tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquillity within the limits of district Patiala due to the recent law and order events.”

The internet blackout will remain in place till 6 pm today. The order stated, “(i) Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) (ii) all SMS services and (iii) all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of the District of Patiala from 9:30 am to 6 pm on April 30.”

A curfew was imposed in the district on Friday that remained in effect till 6 am today. The clashes broke out near the Kali Devi Temple on Friday afternoon as members of an “anti-Khalistan” march organised by Shiv Sena’s state unit working president Harish Singla faced physical confrontation by an alleged pro-Khalistan group. In the aftermath of the clashes, Harish Singla was expelled from Shiv Sena. Singla was later arrested in connection with the incident which left four persons injured.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has ordered a probe into the clash and said that strict action will be taken against those behind the violence.

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