Doctors reattach ASIs hand chopped off by group in Patiala: Officials

PATIALA: Doctors at the Chandigarh’s PGIMER successfully reattached an ASI’s hand chopped off in an attack by a group of Nihangs in
Patiala on Sunday, officials said.

The assistant sub-inspector’s hand was severed and two of his
Punjab Police colleagues were injured when the group allegedly attacked them with swords after being asked to show curfew passes outside a wholesale vegetable market.

Hours after the incident, police arrested eight men from a gurdwara in nearby Balbera village. Police said they recovered weapons, some cash and cannabis during the raid.

A group of ‘Nihangs’ reached the vegetable market around 6.15am and were stopped by the Mandi board employees from entering as they did not carry any pass.

The Nihangs first thrashed the Mandi board employee and then entered the vegetable market by force.

The policemen present at the spot intervened and a scuffle broke out between them. During the scuffle, the Nihangs took out swords and chopped off the hand of ASI Harjeet Singh, while SHO Sadar Bilkar Singh and ASI Raj Singh sustained injuries on their shoulders, arms and legs.

After attacking the policemen, the men fled the scene towards a gurudwara.

Eight people, including five attackers, were arrested hours later after an exchange of fire at a gurdwara where the group fled after the 6.15 am incident in Sanaur town.

Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police Mandeep Singh Sidhu, along with other senior officials, soon reached the spot and sent additional forces to nab the accused.

Singh, along with his colleagues, was rushed to the Rajindra hospital from where he was referred to PGI Chandigarh.

With a lockdown in place to contain the spread of Covid-19, barricades were put up outside the wholesale market and entry restricted to those with curfew passes.

The Nihangs – members of a Sikh sect whose adherents carry traditional arms and wear blue robes – arrived in an SUV and were told to stop by ‘mandi’ officials, police said.

“They were asked to show passes. But they rammed the vehicle against the gate and the barricades,” Patiala’s Senior Superintendent of Police Mandeep Singh Sidhu said.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said he was proud of the police party at the mandi for professionally handling the situation. In a tweet, the CM said he has given instructions to police to deal in the “strictest possible manner” with anyone breaking the law.

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