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Police officer’s hand chopped by a group defying lockdown

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A police officer’s hand was chopped off and two other officers were injured when a group of people attacked them at a vegetable market in Punjab’s Patiala district on Sunday morning. Sources said all the accused have been arrested. The officer—Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Harjeet Singh—has been taken to the hospital, where the doctors are operating on him.

The police said they were attacked when they were trying to ensure the lockdown was in place.

Punjab police chief Dinkar Gupta tweeted: “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.”

A second tweet from the officer read: “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.”

On Friday, Punjab extended the lockdown in the state till May 1. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said most of the new cases reported were those of secondary transmission, and that there were indications of his state “moving into” the community transmission stage of the outbreak.

Community transmission is stage 3 of the virus transmission, when it becomes impossible to trace the source, due to which there is a surge in infection.

The Centre, however, says the transmission in India has not reached that stage and it is still possible to identify, isolate and treat the source.

The state has seen 151 cases of the highly infectious disease. The figure includes five people who have recovered and 11 who are dead.

COVID-19: India’s tally touches 8,356, death toll at 273