Cop’s hand chopped off, 4 others injured in attack by ‘Nihangs’ in Punjab's Patiala : The Tribune India

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Cop’s hand chopped off, 4 others injured in attack by ‘Nihangs’ in Punjab's Patiala

Woman among 11 arrested after standoff at Gurdwara Khichri Sahib

Aman Sood
Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 12

Eleven persons were on Sunday arrested in connection with the horrendous attack on a police party at the vegetable market in Patiala in the morning, in which an ASI’s hand was cut off by a group of Nihangs.

The accused included the five persons involved in the brutal attack on the Punjab Police team posted at the vegetable market in Sanaur early Sunday morning.

Also read: Punjab cop’s severed hand re-implanted after 8-hr surgery at PGI

They had crashed through a series of barricades and attacked the police personnel who inquired about their curfew passes, said DGP Dinkar Gupta, adding that Baba Balwinder Singh, the Nihang Head, was the main perpetrator of the attack on the police party at the Patiala Sabzi Mandi this morning. He came to the market with four other persons, in a Tata Xenon vehicle.

The accused, including a woman, were nabbed after the Patiala Police Party led by Jatinder Aulakh IG Patiala Range and Mandeep Sidhu, SSP Patiala, were fired upon from inside the Nihang Dera Complex which also houses Khichdi Sahib Gurdwara. The operation followed several hours of stand-off and many rounds of appeals and negotiations led by Patiala SSP with the Dera Head Baba Balwinder Singh to surrender with their weapons and swords but the Nihangs refused to surrender. One Nihang, Nirbhav Singh, suffered an injury in the incident was taken to Patiala Hospital.

Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has condemned the attack and warned that anyone violating the curfew, imposed in the state since March 23 to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, would be strictly dealt with.

DGP Dinkar Gupta said a huge cache of weapons as wells as hand held weapons, such as ‘barchhe’ and ‘kirpans’, and some used cartridges were seized from the accused, in addition to two petrol bombs and LPG cylinders, five bags of poppy husk mixed with ‘sulpha’, other drugs in commercial quantity and Rs 39 lakh in cash. Some bottles with chemical substances were also found from the premises.

ASI Harjit Singh, whose hand was reportedly cut off with a sword during the attack at the vegetable mandi, is undergoing a plastic surgery at PGI, Chandigarh, for suturing back his hand, where he was rushed after the incident, said the DGP.

Besides the ASI Harjeet, three other police personnel were injured in the incident. Inspector Bikkar Singh, SHO Sadar, Patiala, suffered sharp injuries on his left arm, leg and back; ASI Raj Singh was inflicted a sharp weapon injury on his left leg, and ASI Raghbir singh  had got blunt injuries on his body. A Mandi Board official, AR Yadwinder Singh, suffered some minor injuries in the attack.

Gupta claimed despite repeated announcements from the public address system, the accused refused to surrender and, instead, abused the police and threatened them with serious consequences if they tried to come closer.

The police then persuaded the sarpanch and some villagers to go in and persuade the men to come out but they failed. Soon thereafter, the police party heard loud shouts and noises from inside the gurdwara premises, suggesting that some innocent people and hostages within might have got caught in the trouble, according to the DGP.

A Patiala Police team led by IG Patiala and SSP Patiala along with a team of the Special Operations Group (SOG), led by ADGP Rakesh Chandra, moved into the premises to flush out Nihangs. A few shots were fired by the accused at the police personnel before they were nabbed, said the DGP, adding that entire operation was handled delicately so that the maryada and sanctum sanctorum of the Gurdwara Sahib was not disturbed in any manner.

Two separate cases have been registered against the accused.  The first has been registered for the incident at Sabzi Mandi, Sanaur Road, Patiala at PS Sadar Patiala for attempt to murder, grievous hurt, rioting, attack on public servant under the IPC, and also under provisions of the Disaster Management Act, 2005.

An injured cop

The second case has been registered against 11 persons, including the woman, at PS Passiana, Patiala.

Another case under NDPS Act has also registered for recovery of 5-6 bags of poppy husk and other drugs from Khichri Sahib Complex, Balbera, where the Nihangs were living. Their property will also be attached on account of the recovery of commercial quantity of drugs.

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