Saturday, Oct 01, 2022

Who is Barjinder Singh Parwana, The Main Accused In Patiala Clashes?

Parwana, the main accused in Patiala violence, has a criminal past with four FIRs against him — three in Patiala and one in Mohali.

Clash In Patiala PTI Photo

The Punjab Police announced on Sunday the arrest of Barjinder Singh Parwana, the main accused in clashes in Patiala earlier this week in which four people were injured. Parwana was presented before a court in Patiala and was sent to four-days remand.

On Friday, violence erupted outside Patiala's Kali Mata temple when an outfit called Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) was carrying out a "Khalistan Murdabad March" and some Sikh activists, including Nihangs, carried out their own march against Sena's. Swords were brandished and stones were hurled in the clashes. The police had to fire in the air to control the situation.

Here is all you need to know about Parwana, the main accused in the violence.

Parwana has a criminal past

Barjinder Singh Parwana, 38, is a resident of Patiala's Rajpura and is known to be trouble-maker. He has a criminal past and there are four FIRs registered against him — three in Patiala and one in Mohali.    

Parwana being produced before Patiala court I Credit: PTI Photo
Parwana being produced before Patiala court I Credit: PTI Photo

Parwana, alias Sunny, is a graduate. He is known for making provocative speeches on social media. He went to Singapore in 2007-08 and returned after staying there for 18 months. He set up his own Sikh seminary "Damdami Taksal" at Rajpura. He had also participated in the yearlong protest against the three central farm laws that were eventually repealed. 

Parwana has a history of promoting Sikh militants on social media, as per a report in Hindustan Times. The report added that he was arrested in July 2021 by Mohali Police for promoting enmity.

The Punjab Police's Crime Investigation Agency arrested Parwana from Mohali airport as he was likely to fly to Mumbai, according to a report in The New Indian Express. 

The report quoted Patiala Range Inspector General Mukhwinder Singh Chhina as saying, "Parwana is a self-styled Sikh leader, who makes expletive speeches on social media to garner support. He was the key conspirator from the Sikh radicals' side in the violence and clash at Patiala. He has been arrested by the police team from Mohali today morning."

Parwana's role in the violence

Parwana is accused of provoking Sikhs to move towards the Kali Mata temple on Friday.

The Hindustan Times reported that Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) leader Harish Singla announced "anti-Khalistan" march on April 17 after proscribed Khalistani organisation Sikhs For Justice's Gurpatwant Singh Pannun made a call to observe “Khalistan day” on April 29. Following Singla's announcement, Parwana declared Sena's march would not be allowed and he appealed on social media for people to converge in Patiala on April 29.

The New Indian Express quoted sources as saying that Parwana led a mob of Sikh protestors from near Khanda Chowk to outside Kali Mata temple and the police barricades were uprooted at more than two places to make way for the agitators.

(With PTI inputs)