Terming the attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale the government’s “sinister design” to “muzzle” opposing voices, the Punjab Congress on Friday demanded a special Vidhan Sabha session to discuss the law and order situation in the state. The Congress said it will stand by Dhadrianwale and build pressure on the government to crack the case at the earliest.
After a half-an-hour-long closed-door meeting with Dhadrianwale at Gurdwara Parmeshar Dwar, 15 km from Patiala, Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) vice-presidents Sunil Jakhar and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said: “Dhadrianwale has been one of the fiercest voices against the government over the sacrilege issue at Bargari village in Faridkot district. By attacking him, an attempt is being made to muzzle the voice of those speaking against the state government.”
The Congress leaders said their discussions with Dhadrianwale pointed towards the government’s “direct or indirect role” in the attack on his cavalcade near Ludhiana on Tuesday. They said deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal should name the attackers, who managed to orchestrate the “ambush” in a busy district such as Ludhiana.
PPCC chief spokesperson Jakhar said while everyone in the state is feeling unsafe, the special investigating teams probing the Bargari sacrilege, Namdhari matriarch Chand Kaur’s murder and other similar incidents had failed to crack the cases.
“The state police are busy providing security to either sangat darshan programmes of the Badal family or providing gunmen to gangsters, while the common man is left at the mercy of goons. There is an attempt to create panic in Punjab. The Congress wants a special assembly session to discuss the prevailing law and order situation in the state,” he said.
Jakhar said when the Shiromani Akali Dal took the reins of the state from the Congress in 2007, there was no gangster in Punjab. “Now, the director general of police has admitted that the state has 57 gangsters, who have nearly 500 aides. This is what Sukhbir Singh Badal has given to the state in past nine years,” he said.