The physical assault on senior Punjab IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu by some persons stranded at Gobind Ghat in the flood-ravaged Uttarakhand has come in for strong criticism from people from different walks of life.
While political leaders, irrespective of their political affiliations, chose not to comment on the issue, city residents openly spoke out against the attack and recalled the hardwork and dedication that Pannu put in during his six-year stint as deputy commissioner of Amritsar.
Among those who condemned the assault were writers and artists, with whom Pannu had close association during his posting in the holy city. They felt that the attack was all the more condemnable considering the nature of duty that Pannu was asked to perform in Uttarakhand.
"Whatever the provocation, the attack is an example of insane behaviour and those behind it should be identified and punished," said Parminderjit Singh, a leading writer of the city.
The Folklore Academy of Ramesh Yadav also came forward to condemn the attack and demand action against those involved. "Whatever task Pannu is assigned, he performs it with dedication. It is because of these qualities that the state government sent him to Uttarakhand to help and evacuate the pilgrims trapped there," he added.
"The comments against the Sikh guru attributed to Pannu are false as he was the one who always came forward to find ways and means to make the stay of pilgrims more comfortable in Amritsar, during his stint as the DC," Yadav added.
The Punjab state cooperative officers association, at its meeting here on Wednesday, also condemned the attack against the honest, hardworking and down-to-earth officer. The association demanded a probe into the incident and claimed that there was a conspiracy behind it or else it would not have found its way to YouTube.
Among those who attended the meeting were Bhupinder Singh Walia, Rajbir Singh Sandhu, Palwinder Singh Bal, Sunil Kumar, Shamshad Ali, Ashok Chadda and others.