Condemning the brutal murder of Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Ravinderpal Singh, Peoples Party of Punjab (PPP) chief Manpreet Singh Badal alleged that the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has become " a refuge house of criminals, gangsters and smugglers" and the Chief Minister and his deputy were to blame for the murder.
Manpreet made these remarks before the media after paying a visit to the bereaved family of the deceased ASI at Rampura village near here on Saturday. He met the family members and conveyed his condolences.
Claiming that the murder of the ASI was not an isolated case, he referred to the kidnapping of a minor girl in Faridkot by an Akali activist and the slapping of another girl by an Akali sarpanch.
" All this shows the hooliganism that is now a part and parcel of SAD. The party is a refuge ground for criminals and other anti social elements and there seems to be no place for an honest person in the party", he told the media.
While dismissing the sacking of Station House Officer (SHO) of Chheratta after the incident, Manpreet said that this was a mere "cover up" of the Home minister Sukhbir Singh Badal. People are not satisfied with the dismissal of the SHO, the responsibility lies with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir and action needs to be initiated against the two in case they do not resign, he added.
The PPP will be submitting a memorandum to the state Governor soon seeking a judicial inquiry into the incident.
Commenting on the law and order situation in Punjab, the PPP chief said that with political goons like Rana roaming the streets, daughters and sisters were no longer safe in the state. The openness with which people like Rana display their political connections, their money power and their muscle will have to be checked by the police, he suggested.
Calling upon women to join the police force, he said, " It is imperative that women are represented in the police in large numbers and this in itself will act as a deterrent to gangsters".
He called for bringing about reforms in the police so that it is freed from political influence. He also called for an immediate need to break the jathedar-thanedar-tehsildar nexus.
" The nexus between the police and the politicians was leading to criminalisation of both the police and politics since criminals are being inducted into SAD on a large scale. These people provide the ruling combine with money and muscle power and the cops are unable to initiate action against them due to dictates from the corrupt Akali top brass", he added.
Manpreet also sought to remind DGP S.S. Saini of the oath he took to uphold the law when he was inducted into the police force. He also sought the creation of a police medal in memory of ASI Ravinderpal Singh.