The Punjab Police on Saturday arrested two more persons for clashes in Patiala, taking the number of arrests to three, and identified another person as mastermind of the violence in "anti-Khalistani rally". Meanwhile, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann blamed the Opposition for the violence.
The police identified the two arrested as Daljeet Singh and Kuldeep Singh. Patiala Range's new Inspector General Mukhwinder Singh Chhina told reporters that Barjinder Singh Parwana, a resident of Patiala's Rajpura, is the main accused and one of the masterminds of incident. He added that Parwana has a criminal past with four FIRs against him.
The clashes took place outside the Kali Mata temple in Patiala on Friday when members of an outfit that calls itself Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) began a "Khalistan Murdabad March". Some Sikh activists, including Nihangs, took out another march against the Sena event. Four people were injured in the clashes. Swords were brandished and stones were hurled and the police had to fire in the air to control the situation.
Earlier, the police had arrested Harish Singla, the “working president” of "Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray)" on charges of taking out a procession without permission and instigating violence.
A total of six FIRs have been registered over the violence so far and 25 people have been named, as per the police. IG Chhina said the conspiracy angle of the clashes will be investigated in detail and nobody will be spared.
CM Mann said the clashes were between two political parties and not between two communities as he blamed Bharatiya Janata Party and Akali Dal. He said, "It is the Opposition which is instigating such incidents as they cannot see the success of Aam Aadmi Party in the state and that is why they are indulging in this."
Mann said that state BJP president Ashwani Sharma was going there to pay respects at the temple on the day of violence.
He further said, "Why was he going there? We will not spare anyone whosoever he is and whichever position one is occupying."
The Punjab government on Saturday shunted out three senior police officials, including an inspector general, and suspended mobile internet and SMS services in Patiala district, a day after the clashes.
(With PTI inputs)