After violent clashes erupted in Punjab’s Patiala last Friday against Hindu organisations, the Punjab Police on Sunday arrested Sikh leader Barjinder Singh Parwana from Mohali for instigating Sikhs against the ‘Khalistan Murdabad March’ and attacking the ‘Maa Kali Mandir’. The police had registered FIR against six accused in connection to the violence with Barjinder being dubbed as the mastermind. After the arrest, Barjinder Singh Parwana was immediately presented before a court and sent to four-day police remand.
#WATCH | Punjab: A clash broke out between two groups near Kali Devi Mandir in Patiala today.
Police personnel deployed at the spot to maintain law and order situation. pic.twitter.com/yZv2vfAiT6
— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2022
However, this is not Parwana’s first brush with the law enforcement agencies. A vocal Khalistan supporter and a Bhindranwale sympathiser – Parwana has been on the radar of the Police for quite some time now. This is the second time he has been arrested by the Police in under a year.
Reportedly, last year in July, Barjinder Singh Parwana was arrested by the Mohali Police after a complaint was lodged against him by Shiv Sena leader Sudhir Suri. He was booked under sections 153 (provocation with intent to cause riot), 505 (statements conducing to public mischief) and 120 (concealing plans to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Instigating Sikhs through his videos
Moreover, in the run-up to the April 29 event organised by Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray), Barjinder Singh Parwana had uploaded multiple videos on his Facebook account where he urged armed Khalistanis to gather in Patiala on the said date.
In one of the videos, Barjinder Singh Parwana can be heard egging his loyalists to take matters into their own hands, “You all must stay prepared for April 29. I will confirm everything later. We may have to take a step before April 29. It is your religious duty. Do you understand by being fully prepared? If you have any baton or any other weapon, bring it.”
In another video, he remarked, “Are you ready for April 29? Will you all come in large numbers, or will it be like the visit to the SSP office? Do you have the guts to come out of your house? Or the Sikhs of Patiala are only good for opening shops and earning money? We all will gather at Gurudwara Dukhniwaran Sahib Patiala.”
However, it is interesting to note that despite chastening his followers to gather around and stop Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) in its tracks – Parwana never turned up at the venue. It was only after violence had ended that he reached the Gurudwara and left soon after on a bike, whilst hiding his face.
How did Barjinder Singh Parwana earn his radical streak?
Barjinder Singh Parwana, who is also known as Sunny, is reportedly a graduate and had gone to Singapore in 2007-2008. He returned to Punjab after 18 months and then set up his own religious group — the Damdami Taksal Jatha Rajpura.
Through social media platforms where he routinely published his radical videos, Parwana earned the sobriquet of Kathavachak Barjinder Singh Parwana. On multiple occasions, he called for killing those who do sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji or other Sikh symbols. In many photographs, he could be seen proudly donning a massive tattoo of Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Barjinder Singh Parwana has been vocal against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and is a campaigner for justice for the victims of the 1984 Delhi riots. He had also participated in the farmers’ protest against the Centre’s three farm laws in 2020-2021.
What happened in Patiala?
As reported extensively by TFI, on Friday, a raucous mob of Khalistanis gathered in the Patiala district of the state and clashed with members of Hindu organisations outside the holy Maa Kali Temple. Moreover, the Khalistanis performed Bhangra while the hapless Punjab police air fired blank bullets.
Reportedly, the incident took place during the ‘Khalistan Murdabad’ march carried out by Shiv Sena (Bal Thackeray) when Khalistan supporters attacked the march by brandishing swords. The officials said this incident also led to stone-pelting and added that at least four people, including two policemen, were injured in the clash.
In one of the videos that have emerged on social media, the Khalistanis could be seen attacking the Maa Kai Temple while in another, a bevvy of protesters could be seen blocking a roundabout in Patiala and shouting “Khalistan Zindabad” slogans.
Armed Sikh mob attack Ma Kali temple with swords and stones in Patiala
Hindus have taken shelter inside. The Sikh mob was part of a armed Khalistan rally crowding outside Hindu temple pic.twitter.com/neg41cZshm
— Girish (@vikramaditya205) April 29, 2022
— karamprakash (@karamprakash6) April 29, 2022
The Khalistanis have had their confidence bolstered ever since AAP came to power in Punjab. As reported by TFI, Bhagwant Mann and Raghav Chaddha recently met UK MP Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi – a staunch Khalistani supporter behind closed doors and immediately afterwards, the clashes erupted between the two religious communities.
The violence in Patiala is just the teaser trailer of what the ordinary folks of Punjab have in store for the next five years. The likes of Barjinder Singh Parwana have had their confidence bolstered by AAP’s tacit support to Khalistanis. Unless he is dragged through the rigours of the criminal justice system and made to rot behind the bars, he will continue to champion the Khalistan cause. However, with AAP handling the power rein of the Punjab police – it appears highly unlikely that Parwana will have to suffer.