Alleging total collapse of the law and order machinery in Punjab, the Congress on Friday demanded that the state should be brought under President’s rule.
Referring to the death of two youths in police firing during protests over alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, All India Congress committee general secretary Shakeel Ahmad told reporters in Bathinda that the state government - that is supposed to protect the people, - is itself involved in atrocities on people. “Total misgovernance is prevailing in the state. The government has no control over and law and order situation. In such a scenario, Article 356 needs to be invoked to bring the state under President’s rule,” said Ahmad, who was accompanied by Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa.
Ahmad also sought a thorough inquiry into the violence at Kotkapura and its surrounding villages in Faridkot district by a sitting Supreme Court judge. The Congress also sought an apology from Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal over Kotkapura violence. “Cases should be registered against officials responsible for it,” said Ahmad.
Ahmad, Bajwa fail to meet Bittu
Ahmad and Bajwa were not granted permission to meet Ludhiana MP Ravneet Singh Bittu in Bathinda central jail.
Bittu was arrested on October 14 on the orders of a Bathinda court, as he along with other Congress leaders and workers had staged a protest in support of agitating farmers who had lost their cotton crop due to the whitefly attack.
Ahmad termed the decision unfortunate and said Bajwa had talked to director general of police (prisons) Rajpal Meena who had assured them they would be allowed to meet Bittu.
Jail superintendent Sukhwinder Singh, however, said: “As per the jail schedule, it was not the day of meeting the undertrials. So, Ahmad and Bajwa were not allowed to meet Bittu.”
Later, both Ahmad and Bajwa visited Bargari and Bajakhana villages in Faridkot district and sat on a dharna with protesters. Ahmad, however, refused to comment on the ongoing tussle between Bajwa and Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha Captain Amarinder Singh.