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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, December 10, 2012
Holding deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal accountable, the Punjab Congress on Monday demanded a judicial inquiry by a sitting high court judge into "inaction" by the Amritsar police after the broad-daylight murder of assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ravinder Pal Singh. As an alternative, the party suggested a probe by the Vidhan Sabha committee.

In a statement issued here, Congress MLAs Parminder Singh, Navtej Singh Cheema and Gurkirat Singh Kotli expressed the apprehension about the role of some important politician in delaying police action. They said the registration of the FIR was delayed by about five hours and so was the case with follow-up action.

They said giving a job to the daughter of the deceased should be appreciated, but that was not enough as responsibility would have to be fixed. They wondered why no action had been taken against any senior police official in the district for the costly and deliberate lapse. The MLAs said the Chheharta station house officer's dismissal was just one step in fixing responsibility, but it was not sufficient. Truth must be brought out and action taken against all guilty, they added.

Parminder said the law and order situation in the state was turning grave mainly due to the policies adopted by the Shiromani Akali Dal government, which had resulted in criminalisation of politics and politicisation of the police. He said it was too well known a fact that SSPs, DSPs and SHOs were being appointed on the recommendations of Akali leaders.

The Congress leaders said political interference had demoralised the police and it would have serious consequences in the long run.