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Opposition blames AAP govt. as tensions ease in Patiala

Shiv Sena workers and others stage a protest outside Kali Mata temple, a day after clashes broke out between two groups, in Patiala on April 30, 2022.

Shiv Sena workers and others stage a protest outside Kali Mata temple, a day after clashes broke out between two groups, in Patiala on April 30, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Punjab government on Saturday restored mobile Internet services in Patiala district as tensions eased and the situation slowly moved towards normal. However, Opposition parties alleged that the violence and clashes over the last few days were the result of the fledgling Aam Aadmi Party(AAP) government’s administrative incompetence.

The district witnessed confrontation and violence since Friday after a clash between different groups over a march in the city against pro-‘Khalistan’ movements. Four persons, including two police personnel, were injured in the incident. Harish Singla, who has been accused of instigating the violence and arrested, was on Saturday sent to two-day police custody by a local court.

The State government also transferred the Inspector General of Police (Patiala Range), the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police and the Superintendent of Police after the incident, said an official statement.

Mukhwinder Singh Chhina, the new IGP (Patiala Range) said the administration had restored peace within 24 hours and the police would ensure that the guilty were punished.

‘Reckless opportunism’

Former Deputy Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal said the incidents of violence and communal flare up in Patiala were a matter of grave concern and these incidents were the direct outcome of “the utter administrative incompetence and reckless political opportunism” of the AAP government.

“In a matter of just a few weeks, they have undone the fruit of decades of sacrifices of Punjabis for peace and communal harmony and brought the State to the edge of a dangerous communal precipice. This is the direct outcome of the politics of confrontation and communal hatred that the AAP has been practicing in Punjab in recent years,” said Mr. Badal in a statement.

The Akali leader also hit out at Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann for blaming the Opposition for the incidents.

“Mr. Mann needs to realize that there is a difference between the theatre of cheap entertainment on the one hand and the serious business of governance involving the destiny of crores of people on the other. While blaming the Opposition, the Chief Minister completely forgot that only hours before that statement, he had himself blamed his own administration and even ‘punished’ the officers for their ‘responsibility’ in the matter. He needs to make up his mind on who is really to blame for what happened,” said Mr. Badal.

Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Congress’s Partap Singh Bajwa also pointed a finger at Mr. Mann’s approach to tackle the clashes. “Priorities Matter. Punjab Chief Minister is again off to New Delhi to attend a conference at Vigyan Bhawan. Instead of attending the conference, he should have visited Patiala along with his DGP to take first hand stock of the situation,” said Mr. Bajwa.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2022 3:22:17 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/opposition-blames-aap-govt-as-tensions-ease-in-patiala/article65370487.ece