Barring MLA Navjot Kaur Sidhu and former minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla, the rank and file of the Amritsar and Tarn Taran district units of the Bharatiya Janata Party maintained a stoic silence on the murder of ASI Ravinderpal Singh and did not utter a single word of condemnation.
Navjot Kaur even mustered the courage to visit the bereaved family of the ASI at his native village, Rampura, on Thursday. She did not mince words in condemning the incident and calling it a failure of the law and order machinery.
Reacting to the dismissal of station house officer (AHO) of Chheharta police station, inspector Ashwani Kumar on charge of dereliction of duty, an angry Navjot Kaur told mediapersons: "He should be shot. He was sitting in the police station when the incident happened. If a policeman cannot go out and protect his colleague, who else will?"
Terming it a total failure on part of the Amritsar police, she pointed out that the Amritsar rural police reached the spot before their city counterparts could.
"If a policeman is not safe, one can well imagine fate of public. It is our duty to respect and protect our mothers, sisters and daughters and this was precisely what the ASI was doing," she said while praising the courage of the officer.
Meanwhile, former minister and senior BJP leader Laxmi Kanta Chawla has termed the incident a "slap on the face of the government and the security setup in Punjab".
She termed the ASI's alleged killer, Ranjit Singh Rana, a "goonda" who enjoyed political patronage. She alleged that those like Rana are terrorising people in the state and numerous such incidents have been reported from different parts of Punjab in the past six months.
Chawla sought to ask the chief minister and director general of police whether they would act now and put all such elements, irrespective of their political affiliations, behind bars or will they allow them to roam freely and act only when the public forces them to do so. She cited the Faridkot girl abduction case where the government acted only when people took to the streets.
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