‘Nihangs’ attack policemen in Punjab, ASI’s hand chopped off

CHANDIGARH, Apr 12 (Agencies): An Assistant Sub Inspector’s hand was chopped off and two other police officials were injured when a group of people allegedly attacked them in Punjab”s Patiala district on Sunday, police said.
A group of four-five ”Nihangs” (Sikhs armed with traditional weapons and dressed in loose blue top) were travelling in a vehicle and they were asked to stop at a vegetable market by the Mandi board officials at around 6.15 am, they said. “They were asked to show (curfew) passes. But they banged 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 said. “An ASI”s (Assistant Sub Inspector) hand was chopped off by a sword.
A Station House Officer of Sadar Patiala and another official suffered injuries on arms in the attack,” Sidhu said. The ASI, identified as Harjeet Singh, was rushed to the Rajindra hospital, where from he was referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh. The Nihangs fled the scene after the attack, the SSP said. Police said they later took shelter at a gurdwara managed by them in Balbera village of the district.
Several teams of police led by Sidhu have been deputed to take the Nihangis out of the premises, they said, adding movement of people around the gurdwara has been stopped. Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta described this incident as unfortunate and said the Nihangs would be arrested soon. “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,” Gupta tweeted. “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. In another tweet, Gputa 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!” The incident took place when restrictions are in place in the state because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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