In complete impertinence to the instructions issued by the Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, land mafia working under the patronage of local Akali leaders have succeeded in sabotaging the shooting range project in the city.
The CM had given the instructions in 2008. But thanks to the “arm twisting tactics” adopted by Harpreet Singh Bedi, husband of SAD councilor Veera Bedi and close associate of former SAD minister Hira Singh Gabria, that even after seven years, the local government has failed to honour his commitment to the district rifle association.
In a recent stunt, Bedi got signatures of some encroachers in and around Sunet and sent a complaint to the chief vigilance office (CVO) in 2014 that the area residents did not want a shooting range in the vicinity. The CVO in turn sent a demi-official (DO) letter to the then municipal commissioner, asking him to cancel the allotment of the land and also asked for the file of the said case. But the file had gone missing from the MC office by then.
Thereafter, president of the district rifle association Lt Col Jagdish Brar who has taken up the case of shooting range in Ludhiana went to meet the CVO in February this year and briefed him about the developments of the last seven years. As a result, CVO sent a DO to the Ludhiana MC commissioner seeking a detailed report.
PROJECT FILE GOES MISSING, NO FIR REGISTERED
Much to the surprise of the members in the encroachment monitoring committee of the Punjab and Haryana high court, Chandigarh, an MC official, when asked about the development in the case of the shooting range, said the project file had gone missing from the office.
More shocking being tha fcat that no FIR has been registered for the missing file even though it is mandatory to do so in case of a lost government dossier.
A RECAP (MC’S ROLE)
The Ludhiana MC, despite having identified the land in 2008, took three years to allot the land. Thereafter, as the association tried to raise a boundary wall for the shooting range in 2011, Harpreet Singh Bedi allegedly with some jhuggi dwellers, who have encroached the adjoining corporation land, demolished it overnight. Also, Bedi and his men allegedly instigated a group of people to object to the shooting range and instead demanded a park on the said land, whereas the area already had a park, said the president of the district rifle association.
Not only this, Bedi locked horns with the district administration over the “demarcation” (nishandehi) of the proposed site for the shooting range in Sunet village, stating that it was impossible to set up the shooting range as it had not been approved in the MC House, whereas the fact was that the resolution was passed in the MC House in January 2011.
However, the parents of a large number of shooters, who are forced to go to the Narangwal shooting range for practice in the morning, are keeping their fingers crossed for the shooting range to come up in Sunet village.
“Though Harpreet Singh Bedi has made every effort to sabotage the project of the shooting range, but his evil designs will not come in the way of our shooters. Ever since young shooter like Maliaka Goel has shown her worth in the Commonwealth Games, the association is motivated to take it to a conclusion,” said Lt Col Brar.