Condemning the brutal assault on Ludhiana AIG Intelligence SS Mand by one Sunny, an alleged associate of revenue minister Bikram Majithia, in full public view, Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday warned the government against demoralising the Punjab Police with such incidents.
He said this only vindicated the Congress stand that the goons patronised by Majithia had become a law unto themselves. He warned chief minister Parkash Singh Badal that it was not too late to tame Majithia lest he should lead the state to anarchy.
The PCC president warned that if the police were demoralised, as there was all possibility of that with such incidents, there would be total anarchy in Punjab. He alleged that it took almost 24 hours for the police to register a case just because the culprits were close to Majithia.
Amarinder said the way the police officers were being treated would only demoralise the police, which would have alarming repercussions for the state.
Citing some recent incidents, he said an Akali leader killed an ASI, then the Akali leaders beat up a traffic cop, and now a senior police officer of the rank of an SSP had been beaten up in full public view in Ludhiana, leaving his leg broken, again by an Akali leader close to Majithia.
"If an SSP-rank officer cannot get his complaint registered even after having been brutally thrashed in full public view and his leg broken, what will be the plight of a common man?" he asked, while adding that the case was only registered as a face-saving measure.
Amarinder also referred to the fierce encounter between criminals and police at Mattewal village in Majitha assembly segment on Tuesday, in which the criminal gang was led by one Sulakhan Mattewal, allegedly close to Majithia. He alleged that while five of his accomplices were arrested, Mattewal was made to escape at Majithia's behest.
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Lal Singh, Brahm Mohindra, Parminder Singh, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Navtej Singh Cheema, Kuljit Singh Nagra and Amarinder Singh Raja Warring said the latest case had further reinforced the perception in public mind that nobody was safe in Punjab and the situation rebutted the claims made by deputy chief minister Sujkhbir Singh Badal in the assembly.
They claimed that the Youth Akali Dal leader involved in this incident was close to Majithia. This was the second incident involving a police officer and an Akali leader. Earlier, ASI Ravinder Pal Singh was gunned down by an Akali leader in Amritsar.
They said it was the same police force that had succeeded in wiping out terrorism while a number of countries had failed on this front; it was unfortunate that the Akali goons were now targeting officers of the same force. They said the Congress would not allow the police to be browbeaten and demoralised.
Terming the thrashing of Mand by Youth Akali Dal office-bearers, Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said Majithia had become the Pappu Yadav of Punjab.
Former Congress MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira demanded a judicial probe into the incident.
Congress MLA Rana Gurjit Singh said the incident could have been avoided had chief minister Parkash Singh Badal allowed the Congress members to raise their voice in the recently concluded assembly session.
Congress MP from Gurdaspur Partap Singh Bajwa, while lambasting the SAD-BJP government for allegedly creating lawlessness in the state, said if chief minister Parkash Singh Badal had heard the voice of the opposition in the assembly session, he would not have to face so much embarrassment.
'Accused not members of YAD'
A spokesman of the SAD clarified here on Tuesday that the three persons allegedly involved in the attack on the police officer were not members of the YAD as they had been expelled from the party for opposing official party nominees during the MC elections. The three accused, Maninderpal Singh 'Sunny Johar'and Rishi Banda, both from Ludhiana, and Jaskirat Singh from Amritsar had been expelled in May, said a party press release here.