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BJP's Captain Amarinder Singh on Punjab's deteriorating law and order situation: 'Centre must intercede...'

News Agencies | Updated on: 26 February 2023, 13:46 IST
BJP's Captain Amarinder Singh.

With reference to the Ajnala incident, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday said if the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government cannot handle law and order, the Centre should intervene to deal with the situation.

Speaking to ANI on Sunday, the former Punjab CM said, "He (CM Bhagwant Mann) is not interested on what is going on in Punjab. He is afraid of taking any step. Police officials may have got orders not to take any step during the Ajnala incident. The law and order has deteriorated in Punjab."

"No government can run like this, the way this government is running. The day when Ajnala incident took place, Bhagwant Mann was sitting in Mumbai with Arvind Kejriwal," he added.

Notably, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday called on former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray at his Mumbai residence.

Captain Amarinder Singh further raised concerns about the internal security of the country.

"The law and order situation in Punjab is horrible. The law and order is not the Centre's subject. If they (Punjab government) are not able to handle it then the central government will have to take charge. There are drones getting caught every single day, I think the Centre must see it," he said.

Thousands of supporters of Amritpal Singh, a Khalistan sympathizer, had on Thursday staged a massive demonstration in Amritsar to protest against the arrest of his aide Lovepreet Singh Toofan.

The supporters, who were holding swords and guns in their hands, broke through police barricades erected outside Ajnala police station.

The police later said "in the light of the evidence presented", it has been decided that Lovepreet Singh Toofan will be discharged.

Lovepreet Singh was released from jail on Friday following orders of a court in Ajnala on an application by the police.

A day after Ajnala incident in which some policemen were injured, DGP Gaurav Yadav said that appropriate action will be taken against the people involved.

After the clash between supporters of the chief of suspected pro-Khalistan outfit 'Waris Punjab De', Amritpal Singh, and Punjab Police erupted in Ajnala, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Friday said the law and order situation is under control.

'Waris Punjab De' chief Amritpal Singh said the incident concerning Ajnala police station in Amritsar on February 23 could have been avoided if police were alert and his aide Lovepreet Singh Toofan had not been arrested.

Amritpal Singh said in an interview with ANI that the incident and subsequent release of Lovepreet Singh will "change the course of the future".

Amritpal's supporters, some of them brandishing swords and other weapons, stormed Ajnala police station on Thursday over their demand for the release of Lovepreet Singh.

Asked about Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav's remarks that there will be action regarding the Ajnala incident, Amritpal Singh said that the senior police official cannot say he was not aware of the case.

"We are going through the cycle...They way it happened before, it could have been avoided if they were alert. The DGP could not say that he did not know about the case. It was not that he did not know about the case. The decision could have been made earlier. The guy should not have been arrested. We will not run away and hide somewhere. It's not that I am going to hide somewhere. No, I will not. I will get killed. I will face everything, I will not hide anywhere," he said.

Amritpal Singh said Punjab Police acted in a hurry based on wrong intelligence reports and authorities gave false information about him that he does not have support.

"When I am going to the public, this could happen any day if you have enough evidence to charge me. What they did was in hurry and based on wrong intelligence reports. I do not show everything on social media. They had some pressure and gave false information to the Central government that Amritpal Singh does not have any support in Punjab and he is isolated," he said.

Invoking 'Operation Blue Star', Amritpal said it was a moment of "trauma" for Sikhs and continues to be.

"When Golden temple was attacked and Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was killed, it might have been a happy moment for many people, but it was a trauma for Sikhs. It is still a trauma. You don't care about the judgment of law and society because you are the society. Not a single Hindu was attacked in Punjab.......When (former Prime Minister) Indira Gandhi was killed, Sikhs...were attacked," he said.

Amritpal , a suspected Khalistan sympathiser, said allegations were made against Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, and huge money was spent "to destroy his image".

"When someone is in the power, they have the power to make anything evil. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale is evil in the eyes of the Indian people, and Indira Gandhi might be a hero. But that does not change our idea of us. We will love him. India has control over all the resources to make him evil and it did it. Billions of dollars were spent to destroy his image and to put allegations against him. But what happened? There is no village here that will not have his pictures. Youth is inspired, they did not see him. But what happens? The suppression finds its way come out of slavery," Amritpal said.

The head of the Sikh religious sect Damdami Taksal, Bhindranwale, was killed along with his armed followers during Operation Blue Star launched by the Indian Army at the Golden Temple complex.

Amritpal also said steps should be taken to make policing system better.

"The Indian people should reconsider the policing system in the country. It is still pre-1947. The way they interrogate people, the way they pick them up, the way they work. Courts are filled with such cases because the policing system is not right. It's not the problem of the police, but of the law. They have to change the law to make policing system better and make things more transparent," he said.

'Waris Punjab De' was founded by activist Deep Sidhu, who died in a road accident in February last year.


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First published: 26 February 2023, 13:46 IST