Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday appealed to the people in the state to maintain law and order at all costs after two groups clashed during an anti-Khalistan protest march on Friday.
The police fired in the air to disperse the crowd. At least two people are believed to have been injured in the clashes.
Terming the incident of clashes in Patiala as highly deplorable and extremely unfortunate that needs to be condemned by one and all in the strictest possible words, the CM said besides upholding the long traditional love, peace, brotherhood and harmony, people should maintain law and order at all costs.
Expressing anguish over this shocking incident, Mann called upon the people to extend fulsome support and cooperation to the police and civil authorities by exercising restraint in this hour of crisis.
He categorically said no one would be allowed to disturb the hard earned peace and communal harmony in the state.
“The incident of clashes in Patiala is deeply unfortunate. I spoke with the DGP, and peace has been restored in the area. We are closely monitoring the situation and will not let anyone create disturbance in the State. Punjab’s peace and harmony is of utmost importance,” Mann tweeted.
Reiterating his government’s firm commitment, the CM said nothing should be done to disturb the peaceful atmosphere as we are all morally committed to make Punjab the most peaceful, harmonious and prosperous state in the country.
Police sources said clashes broke out after the procession held by the group which identifies itself as Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) came face to face with a Sikh group that is believed to be pro-Khalistan.
Members of the two groups also waved swords and threw stones at each other.
“Peace and harmony is central to all our religions and their basic ethos. Even if there is any dispute or misunderstanding, it is important to resolve it by dialogue. As such, the District Administration appeals to all brothers and sisters of Patiala and Punjab to continue to maintain peace and brotherhood. The present situation is under control and being continuously monitored. All measures are being taken to ensure peace and harmony,” Patiala district commissioner Sakshi Sawhney said in a statement.