Punjab Policeman’s hand chopped off by Nihangs violating COVID-19 lockdown

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Source: The Quint

Enamul Hafiz Latifee compiles,

As Punjab became the second state after Odisha to extend the 21-day lockdown till 30 April 2020 in the wake of growing number of cases of the Coronavirus, a police officer’s hand was chopped off and two other police officials were injured when a group of people attacked them in Punjab’s Patiala district on Sunday, 12 April 2020 as they were trying to implement the lockdown.

 

Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Harjeet Singh,  has been hospitalized and the doctors are operating on him.  He was rushed to the Rajindra hospital, from where he was referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh.

The police said that seven people, including the five Nihang Sikhs, were arrested from a gurdwara in Punjab on Sunday, 12 April.

 

“They were asked to show (curfew) passes. But they crashed the vehicle against the gate and barricades put up there,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mandeep Singh Sidhu said.  The group then attacked the police personnel on duty, he added. “An ASI’s hand was chopped off by a sword. A Station House Officer of Sadar Patiala sustained an injury on his elbow and another official suffered an injury on his arm in the attack,” Sidhu added.

 

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta tweeted, “In an unfortunate incident today morning, a group of Nihangs injured a few Police officers and a Mandi Board official at Sabzi Mandi, Patiala. ASI Harjeet Singh whose hand got cut-off has reached PGI Chandigarh”. “I have spoken to Director PGI who has deputed top Plastic surgeons of PGI for surgery, which just started. The Nihang group will be arrested and further action taken soon,” he said. NDTV reported that all the accused have been arrested.

 

In another tweet, Gupta said, “Grateful to PGI for full support. Director PGI tells me that surgery has already started by 2 senior surgeons who will do their best. All of us praying to Waheguru for his full recovery!”

 

Special Secretary of Punjab, KBS Sidhu, said that 7 fugitives, donning the robes of Nihangs, were arrested from a Gurdwara in a village called Balbera. One of them were injured in police firing and were rushed to the hospital, he informed.

 

The incident took place when restrictions are in place in the state because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Punjab Cabinet had unanimously approved the extension of the curfew till 30 April 2020 with effect from 10 April 2020. In a tweet, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, given the seriousness of the situation arising out of COVID-19, the Cabinet has decided to extend the lockdown and curfew till 30 April 2020.

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