The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday asked the Congress and other opposition parties in Punjab not to be cynical in causing and exploiting caste divisions among people for the sake of cheap and unscrupulous pursuit of power.
In a statement here, Shiromani Akali Dal general secretary Harcharan Singh Bains said the Congress and other organisations were trying to give a caste colour to the Abohar incident, which was essentially a case of gang rivalry in which members of the Dalit communities featured on both sides.
“The government is determined to deal firmly with unlawful elements,” the SAD general secretary further said.
Bains said the Congress was trying to distort facts to paint the issue as casteist so as to score brownie political points.
“There is a long history behind this gang rivalry. There were members of Dalit as well as other communities on both sides of the fence. But if anyone is found guilty of causing hurt or injury to sentiments of any community, he or she would not be spared,” Bains stated.
BJP demands strictest action
Condemning the Abohar and Muktsar incidents, Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma on Monday said a party delegation led by chief parliamentary secretary (CPS) Som Parkash and party’s Scheduled Caste (SC) cell incharge Dilbag Singh would visit the families of the victims on Tuesday.
As per a statement by Sharma, the Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded that chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal ensure strictest punishment for the culprits involved in the killing of two Dalits in these two cases.
“The BJP stands by the families of the victims and would make full efforts to ensure justice for them,” he added.
Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment Vijay Sampla would also meet the victims’ family on Tuesday. He would reach Abohar in the morning and discuss the case with the district administration officials. He would visit victim Bhim Tank’s family and them leave for Amritsar to look at Gurjant Singh, who is in a hospital over there.