In a surgery lasting over seven hours, doctors at the Chandigarh's Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) reattached a 50-year-old ASI's hand chopped off in an attack by a group of Nihangs in Punjab's Patiala on Sunday. Speaking about ASI Harjeet Singh's condition to Republic TV, PGIMER Director Professor Jagat Ram said, "The patient is all right, I have just seen him and doctors from the plastic surgery department also saw him. He is fine, healthy and his hand is also all right."
Dr Ram said that his team is hopeful that Harjeet Singh will recover fully but the process will take its own time. He called it the surgery a "technically complex one". Answering whether ASI Singh will be able to use his hand which was chopped off, the doctor said, "Our first aim is to anatomically join the two parts which are disconnected. It consists of bones, nerves, arteries, veins, skin etc. Once it's done. we are very sure and hopeful that he will regain." According to the doctor, the officer will need physiotherapy and exercise of the hand and it may take 2 to 3 months. The doctor also said that the officer is very happy that the surgery has been successful.
Some Nihang Sikhs travelling in a vehicle were denied entry into the Patiala vegetable market by the Mandi board officials at 6.15 am on Sunday. They not only refused to show the curfew pass but also crashed the vehicle against the barricades put up there. Subsequently, they attacked the police personnel on duty. While ASI Harjeet Singh's hand was chopped off, the Station House Officer sustained an injury on his elbow and another official on his arm. Meanwhile, Harjeet Singh was first rushed to the Rajindra Hospital after which he was referred to PGI Hospital in Chandigarh.
Later, the authorities arrested as many as nine people wearing the robes of Nihang Sikhs from a Gurudwara in Balbera village in connection with this horrific crime. Several sharp objects, automatic weapons, petrol bombs and Rs.35 lakh were recovered from the Gurudwara. The arrests were conducted under the supervision of IG Patiala Zone Jatinder Singh Aulakh. Leading politicians cutting across party lines such as Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal, Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Preneet Kaur issued a strong condemnation of this barbaric attack.