Aruna Chaudhary, Congress MLA from Dinanagar, on Monday questioned the efficiency and promptness of the Punjab Police in handling the July 27 attack by Pakistan-trained terrorists in her constituency in Gurdaspur district and said the army could have done a better job. Seven persons, including a superintendent of police (SP), three home guards personnel and three civilians, were killed in the attack.
Raising the issue during zero hour in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Chaudhary said since the attack occurred in her constituency, she gathered the ground realities pertaining to the operation carried out by the state police to eliminate the terrorists.
“They (terrorists) entered Indian territory around 5.20am and kept marching further till they were noticed at 8.15am. Why did the Punjab Police not have any presence and check points in the area to prevent free movement of such elements,” the MLA said.
Chaudhary stated that on the day of the attack, when Punjab director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini should have led from the front, he reached the spot around 1.15pm, when the operation was still on. The next day, the DGP took a chopper to reach Dinanagar. “Why did he not take the chopper on the same day to oversee the operation,” she asked.
Chaudhary said though the army had reached the spot at 11am, the Punjab Police did not allow them to take over the operation. “The well-equipped and trained army personnel could have finished the job in just one hour. But it took the state police more than 11 hours to do the same,” the MLA said.
When deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia got up and said that instead of praising the police, she (Chaudhary) was criticising them, hence she should not even have been allowed to raise such an issue, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar came to her rescue, clarifying to the House that she actually wanted to have equal monetary compensation for all, including the civilians and home guards personnel.
Even Modi praised cops, says Sukhbir
Sukhbir expressed shock and dismay at the manner in which the Opposition tried to downplay the bravery shown by the Punjab cops in tackling and eliminating the threat posed by the terrorists.
He said the exemplary bravery displayed by Punjab Police personnel was even appreciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a cabinet meeting.
He said the brave manner in which the terrorists were taken head-on had sent a strong message to Pakistan that terrorism would not be tolerated at any cost.
Sukhbir further said: “We should be proud of our forces and not raise any issue in the assembly which undermines them.”
He lauded the state police for controlling the situation and said if the force had not taken effective action, a major incident could have happened.