As Punjab became the second state after Odisha to extend the 21-day lockdown till May 1 in the wake of growing number of cases of the Coronavirus, a police officer’s hand was chopped off and two other police officials were injured when a group of people attacked them in Punjab’s Patiala district on Sunday, as they were trying to implement the lockdown.

Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Harjeet Singh,  has been hospitalised  and the doctors are operating on him.  He was rushed to the Rajindra hospital, from where he was referred to PGIMER in Chandigarh.

NDTV reported that all the accused have been arrested.

Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta tweeted, “In an unfortunate incident today morning, a group of Nihangs injured a few Police officers and a Mandi Board official at Sabzi Mandi, Patiala. ASI Harjeet Singh whose hand got cut-off has reached PGI Chandigarh.”

“I have spoken to Director PGI who has deputed top Plastic surgeons of PGI for surgery, which just started. The Nihang group will be arrested and further action taken soon,” he said.

In another tweet, Gupta said, “Grateful to PGI for full support. Director PGI tells me that surgery has already started by 2 senior surgeons who will do their best. All of us praying to Waheguru for his full recovery!”

According to the police, a group of four-five ‘Nihangs’ (Sikhs armed with traditional weapons and dressed in loose blue top) were travelling in a vehicle and they were asked to stop at a vegetable market by the Mandi board officials at around 6.15 am, when they were asked as to why they are breaking the lockdown, they started the brawl. The Nihangs fled the scene after the attack.

Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mandeep Singh Sidhu said, “They were asked to show (curfew) passes. But they banged the vehicle against the gate and barricades put up there.The group then attacked the police personnel on duty.”

The incident took place when restrictions are in place in the state because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Punjab Cabinet had unanimously approved the extension of the curfew till May 1 with effect from April 10.

In a tweet, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said, given the seriousness of the situation arising out of COVID-19, the Cabinet has decided to extend the lockdown and curfew till May 1.

Punjab so has has reported 151 positive cases of Coronavirus and 11 deaths.