Monday, 27 March, 2023
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Day after Shah decried law & order in Punjab, a statewide drive by cops ‘to make presence felt’

Not just home minister Amit Shah, other opposition parties have spoken up against the AAP govt as well. DGP says search ops carried out in crime hotspots identified via data analysis.

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Chandigarh: A day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah said Punjab’s law and order situation was in tatters especially after the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) came to power, the Punjab Police Tuesday launched a massive state-wide cordon and search operation for sending out a strong message to both anti-social elements and its detractors.

Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Gaurav Yadav, who supervised the drive in Ludhiana, told the media that the search operations were carried out in hotspots identified through data analysis showing the highest presence of crimes.

Yadav said that the operation was launched under the supervision of an Additional Director General- or Inspector General-level officer in every district. 

“Apart from checking for anti-social elements and drugs we are aiming to make police presence felt and reassure the public,” Yadav said, adding that the special drive was launched on the order of Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann.

To a question on pro-Khalistan Amritpal Singh’s controversial speeches, the Punjab DGP said nobody will be allowed to make hate speeches and will be dealt with according to the law.  

Over 12,000 police personnel carried out the operation in more than 150 locations spread across 28 police districts, the Punjab Police tweeted.

Mann, meanwhile continued to camp in Gujarat to campaign for his party for the forthcoming assembly elections. On Monday, he participated in a road show at Somnath. Senior Punjab cabinet ministers Aman Arora, Anmol Gagan Mann and Kuldeep Dhaliwal are also in Gujarat to campaign for the AAP candidates. 

The police action comes after severe criticism from the opposition that Mann’s government had failed to maintain law and order and that the CM was busy in Gujarat neglecting his own state. 

In the past fortnight, Punjab has seen two daring daylight murders. A prominent Right-wing leader, Sudhir Suri was shot dead in a busy market in Amritsar on 4 November and this was followed by the assassination of Dera Sacha Sauda follower Pardeep Singh in Kotkapura on 10 November. Both victims were police protectees.

In Suri’s case, the accused, a radicalised Sikh, was arrested from the spot. Of the six identified accused in the Pardeep Singh murder case, three were arrested by the Delhi Police. No arrests have been made by the Punjab Police in the second case.

When asked why the Delhi Police seemed more effective than its Punjab counterparts in nabbing criminals in the state, Yadav said crime was seamless and did not recognise borders. “We have good coordination with Haryana and Delhi. Everybody works together.”

Also Read: Hindu leader Sudhir Suri killed in Amritsar, killer’s car had sticker of Sikh preacher’s rally

Opposition calls out AAP govt

In Punjab, opposition leaders — be it Partap Singh Bajwa of the Congress, Amarinder Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), or Sukhbir Singh Badal of the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) — have lashed out at the AAP government, saying that it almost seemed as if there was no one running the state. 

On Tuesday, senior Akali leader Bikram Singh Majithia said gangsters were running the state. “People are receiving ransom calls, and nobody is bothering to go to the police. Instead they prefer to pay up the ransom amount and buy their peace,” he said

The former Punjab cabinet minister said that the AAP had allowed a free run to those who were spreading the message of hate. 

“Let me tell those who go around asking for Khalistan that Punjabis want peace, law and order, not division and hatred. Punjabis have sacrificed their lives for this nation, and we are proud of it. I will stand by every Hindu brother in the state against these divisive forces,” he said, referring to the controversial utterances of Khalistan supporter Amritpal Singh who has been for the past two months talking about “Khalsa raaj“.

(Edited by Tony Rai)

Also Read: Gangster Goldy Brar says he ordered the murder of Dera man accused in Bargari sacrilege case


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