The ‘Nihangs’, who had attacked the Punjab policemen and chopped-off hands of ASI Harjeet Singh have been arrested at a local Gurdwara Khichri Sahib near Patiala. Reportedly, after an initial standoff, the police managed to arrest all the ‘Nihangs’, who were hiding in Gurudwara Khichri Sahib, Balbera. Seven fugitives, including one who was injured in police firing, were taken into the custody.
The operation was supervised by IG Patiala Zone, Jatinder Singh Aulakh, said KBS Sidhu, Special Chief Secretary, Punjab.
Earlier today, a group of five ‘Nihangs’, armed with swords and iron rods, had attacked two policemen and chopped-off hands of ASI Harjeet Singh. The armed Sikhs were travelling in a vehicle and they were asked to stop at a vegetable market at 6.15 am by Mandi board officials.
“They were asked to show (curfew) passes. But they crashed the vehicle against the gate and barricades put up there,” Senior Superintendent of Police, Patiala, Mandeep Singh Sidhu said. The group then attacked the police personnel on duty, he said.
Soon after the incident, the Punjab police teams, led by Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu, had reached the Gurdwara Khichri Sahib and urged the ‘Nihangs’ to surrender. The police sealed the area around the gurdwara and the village with three-tier security so that no one can escape.
Senior officers at the spot said that the total number of armed ‘Nihangs’ inside the gurdwara was not known initially. However, the police then reached out to Nihang leaders including Baba Balbir Singh, the head of the Buddha Dal Nihang faction—one of the biggest and richest in the country. However, the accused did not turn themselves in. Speaking to Times Now, Baba Balbir Singh has said that these men do not belong to their sect and strictest action should be taken against them. Now that they are arrested, the police will take the investigation further.