Spain sacks Catalan police chief as Madrid takes control of regional govt.

ANI | Updated: Oct 28, 2017 19:39 IST

Madrid [Spain], Oct 28 (ANI): Spain has removed Josep Lluís Trapero Álvarez as chief of Catalonia's autonomous Mossos police force, as the government in Madrid takes control of the autonomous region to block its push for independence.

Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido has used Article 155 powers to sack Catalan Police (Mosso) chief Josep Lluis Trapero, Spanish media reports said.

According to the report, he is currently being investigated by the National High Court in Madrid for the crime of sedition, a public order offence in the Spanish Criminal Code that carries a maximum 15-year term.

The development comes as Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy on Friday dissolved Catalan Parliament to impose direct ruler over it and called for a new regional election on December 21.

Earlier, the Catalonia parliament voted to declare independence from Spain and proclaimed to be a republic.

Prime Minister Rajoy called for calm and said the rule of law would be restored in Catalonia, which is gripped in political crisis, since past three years.

The Catalan Government had said that it earned the right to split from Spain, claiming 90% of those who voted in referendum were in favour of independence.

Before Madrid's imposition of direct rule over it, Catalonia enjoyed wide autonomy, including control over its own policing, education and healthcare.

Catalan nationalists have always argued that the region is a separate nation with its own history, culture and language, and that it should have increased fiscal independence. (ANI)