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State Cong asks governor to intervene

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday sought the intervention of Punjab governor Shivraj V Patil in the Shruti abduction case. Shruti Sachdeva (15) was allegedly abducted by Nishan Singh (19) and his five accomplices from Faridkot on September 24.

chandigarh Updated: Oct 18, 2012 11:44 IST
Manpreet Randhawa

Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Sunil Jakhar on Wednesday sought the intervention of Punjab governor Shivraj V Patil in the Shruti abduction case.|

Shruti Sachdeva (15) was allegedly abducted by Nishan Singh (19) and his five accomplices from Faridkot on September 24.

Jakhar, who led a delegati on of Congress MLAs to the governor and submitted a memorandum, expressed concern over the "fast deteriorating" law and order situation in the state as both the Akali-BJP government and the Punjab Police had become "mute spectators and were unable to redeem the situation".

Jakhar, who was accompanied by Shruti's parents Ashwani Kumar Sachdeva and Seema Sachdeva and Youth Congress leader from Faridkot Sukhwinder Singh Danny, said if the Punjab Police failed to trace Shruti by October 20, the Congress would launch an indefinite protest demonstration in Faridkot.

"On the occasion of Dussehra, we will burn effigies of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal and cabinet minister Bikram Majithia, instead of Ravana and others," added Jakhar.

He said the state Congress was shocked and concerned at the collapse of governance and law and order in Punjab. "Shocking incidences poking fun at the Punjab Police's ineptness to book criminals with political patronage of the ruling government have instilled a sense of fear among the people. The free run criminals are having across the state calls for serious monitoring of the deteriorating law and order scenario in Punjab," he said.

Jakhar also highlighted other criminal cases the police had failed to solve.

"On May 5, the 10-year-old daughter of a labourer was abducted and raped by kin of Akali leaders at Mullanpur Dakha, Ludhiana. She was drugged (and dumped) at New Delhi railway station after being raped. She had to go through hell until a good Samaritan got her reunited with her family after five months. The Mullanpur police neither registered the family's complaint about her disappearance nor apprehended the criminals due to political pressure. Disgustingly, the police are pressurising the victim to get into a compromise and let the culprit escape punishment," Jakhar said in the memorandum.

He stated that on October 16, an attempt was made to kidnap three five-year-old children from Rishi Nagar, Ludhiana. But timely alarm scuttled the abduction bid and one of the kidnappers was caught by the public and handed over to the police. The kidnapper escaped police detention and the police continued to mislead aggrieved parents about the kidnapper until Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu intervened, Jakhar added.

He claimed that the police had failed to make any arrest in a rape case registered at Kalanour police station (Gurdaspur district), in which a married woman was the victim.

Capt questions Badals' 'silence'

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee President Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday questioned the "timid silence" of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal (who is also the Punjab home minister) on the abduction of a teenaged girl (Shruti) at gunpoint in broad daylight from her house in front of her parents and relatives.

"Running away from the situation does not relieve you of your responsibilities towards your people," he told the Badals, while referring to the cancellation of their visits and scheduled programmes to Faridkot in the aftermath of the abduction and the subsequent public anger and outrage.

Amarinder said a detailed, thorough and independent inquiry would "lead to Akali doors" as some local Akali leaders had been shielding the culprit from day one. "It is clear that some Akalis are helping the abductors from the way the police circulated a letter which was clearly got written under duress and photographs to claim that the girl had gone with the known criminal of her own will," he pointed out.

The former chief minister said both Badals were not known for maintaining such silence on any issue for that long.

"If both of you started crying hoarse and crying wolf when Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi pointed towards the harsh and grim reality of drug addiction in Punjab, what makes you so quiet about the abduction of a girl at gunpoint from her home by a known criminal?" he asked.

'Badals should apologise to girl's parents'

Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Congress MLA from Gidderbaha, on Wednesday stated that instead of seeking an apology from Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for speaking the truth on the large-scale use of drugs in Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal, Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia should seek an apology from Shruti's parents for failing to trace the girl even 25 days after her abduction.

"Though the Badals claim to be sons of the soil, especially from Malwa, but till date none of the family members, including Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, has visited Shruti's grieving parents to express solidarity. Even Punjab director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini has not bothered to visit Faridkot, though it is an established fact that the entire issue was botched up by none other senior Punjab Police officials," said Raja Warring.