After police firing at Behbal village of Moga district on Wednesday killed two protesters, Punjab Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa has demanded President’s Rule in the state to contain the “reign of terror let loose on people”.
In a statement issued here, he said that unprovoked firing on peaceful protesters was the latest example of state repression. “Police was unable to handle the situation and douse public anger. Terrorising people would further flare up this outrage. Moga and Faridkot districts in particular have turned into police state, and a curfew-like situation prevails there,” he added.
Condemning the police for failing to arrest those behind sacrilege at Bargari village, Bajwa said the force had become subservient to political interests of the ruling Badal family and it would have serious ramifications. He demanded a high-level inquiry into the police firing, saying: “Punjab is a sensitive state that has earlier paid a heavy price for Badal’s similar ineptitude.”
Badal’s main problem, he said, was “his politics of opportunism”, for which the state could not be allowed to burn. Every section of the population was “disgusted with the corrupt regime of Badal”, the Congress leader said.
Khaira wants Badal to quit
Former Congress legislator Sukhpal Singh Khaira has demanded the resignation of chief minister Badal over police firing on defenceless and peaceful protesters.
“It is a matter of great shame for the so-called ‘panthic’ (religious) Akalis in power to now start eliminating the identity of Sikhs by wiping them out,” said Khaira, pointing to the pardoning of Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh by the Sikh clergy and its public endorsement by the SAD.
“It is now clear that even the appointment of anti-Sikh officers Sumedh Singh Saini and ex-DGP Izhar Alam as director general of police (DGP) and Wakf Board chairman, respectively, were a part of a larger conspiracy to implement the anti-Sikh agenda of a fascist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh),” said Khaira.
Chhotepur flays sacrilege
Moga: Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur condemned sacrilege against the Sikh holy book and Wednesday’s police action on Sikh protesters, saying it was a conspiracy of the Badal regime to divert people’s attention from the farmers’ protests.
AAP MP Dr Dharamvira Gandhi also saw it as a ploy to divert people’s attention. “When the ‘bir’ (copy of Guru Granth Sahib) was stolen, the state government failed to catch culprits, so it is responsible for the consequences,” said Chhotepur, demanding `50 lakh a compensation for each family who had lost a member in the incident, besides free-of-cost treatment for the injured.
Anarchy coming, says Manpreet
People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal condemned the killings in the police action and said the state was heading towards anarchy.
“Punjab has been turned into a police state,” he said, “and the adamant attitude of the government to the peasants’ demands has added fuel to the fire.” Wednesday’s protesters were mainly from the same section of society, he has claimed.