Demanding the resignation of the panchayat and rural development minister Surjit Singh Rakhra for allegedly shielding the main accused in the Patiala gangrape and suicide case, Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh on Sunday said there was an Akali link to every big criminal act in the state.
Addressing public meetings in support of party candidate Vijay Sathi at Sanghewala, Mothamwali, Bukkanwala, Daroli Bhai and Baghewala villages, Amarinder referred to the revelations made by the dismissed cop, ASI Naseeb Singh, saying Rakhra had shielded the rape accused and that he had been made a scapegoat to save Rakhra.
"Rakhra has no right to continue as minister and he must be sacked in case he does not resign," he asserted.
The former chief minister said it was such a shameful incident of crime and as it turned out, the criminals were protected by an Akali minister. "With ministers like Rakhra shielding the criminals involved in heinous crimes like rape, it is not surprising that there are on an average 40 rapes reported every month in Punjab," he said.
Asserting that every big and serious crime in the state had an Akali link, Amarinder said that in Amritsar an Akali leader close to revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia killed an ASI as he objected to the harassment of his daughter.
Similarly, he said, that in Ludhiana, a close aide of Majithia mercilessly beat up an assistant inspector general of police and broke his leg. "Incidents of Akali leaders and their kin harassing and humiliating the cops have become routine," he said.
Appealing to the people of Moga to vote for the Congress, he cautioned them that in case they did not stop Akalis, there would be complete lawlessness in Punjab.
He said that with police officials like Ravinderpal Singh of Amritsar killed by an Akali leader for trying to protect the honour of his daughter; Naseeb Singh, dismissed to protect Rakhra; and SS Mand beaten up and his leg broken, the police force was demoralised.
Amarinder said it was important to put a leash on Akalis lest they should push the state into anarchy; then it would be difficult to bring it back to normalcy. "They can be made to learn lessons from Moga," he urged the people, while cautioning them against wasting their vote.
Prominent among those present on the occasion were Sadhu Singh Dharamsot, Gurjeet Aujla, Isher Singh Meharban, Gurdeep Bhaini, Major Singh Bhaini, Tej Parkash, Hira Sodhi, Bibi Harchand Kaur, Malkiat Singh Dakha, Karan Kaur Brar, Guriqbal Kaur, Darshan Singh Brar, Tara Singh Sandhu, Col Babu Singh, Kamaljeet Brar, Jagdarshan Kaur, Vinod Bansal, Vijay Dhir and Inderjit Singh Bir Charik.