Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday said the attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale was a motivated act and those involved in the crime would be prosecuted.
Talking to the media during an informal meeting, Sukhbir, who is also the state home minister, said the police would ensure free and fair probe in the case.
When asked if the Damdami Taksal chief Harnam Singh Dhumma was in any way involved in the attack, Sukhbir said investigations in the case were still on. “We have arrested 14 people and whosoever the police find guilty will be prosecuted,” he added.
When pointed out that this was second murderous attack on religious leaders in Punjab in the past two months, Sukhbir said it is difficult, if not impossible, for any police in the world to check murders. “If the murderer has made up his mind or is motivated enough to do it, regardless of the consequences, it can rarely be stopped. Murders like this cannot be seen as a breakdown of law and order,” he said. He added that the police were “very close” to cracking the murder of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur and nothing could be revealed at this stage as it would jeopardise the investigation.
Sukhbir claimed that Punjab was among the “safest” states in the country. “According to the national crime bureau data, Punjab is fourth safest state in the country after Nagaland, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh. From 2007 to 2014, the state had come up from being on the 11 spot in the country to the fourth. In 2007, the crime rate of Punjab was 135.6 against the national average of 220.5 and in 2014, the state had registered 129.6 crime rate against the national rate of 220.5,” he said.