Ludhiana gangrape, lathicharge on teachers in Patiala rock Punjab Assembly
The opposition raised the two issues during the Zero Hour, hitting out at the state government and its police force for “deterioration in the law and order situation”Updated: Feb 14, 2019 00:00 IST
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Wednesday took on the Amarinder Singh-led Congress government in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha over the gangrape of a 20-year-old student in Ludhiana and the police lathicharge on protesting schoolteachers in Patiala.
The MLAs of the opposition parties raised the two issues during the Zero Hour, hitting out at the state government and its police force for “deterioration in the law and order situation”. Chief minister Amarinder Singh responded by mooting fast-track courts to try rape cases. “I am prepared to have a discussion on law and order,” he said.
As soon as the question hour got over, the SAD and AAP members were on their feet to draw assembly speaker Rana KP Singh’s attention. SAD legislator Parminder Singh Dhindsa and leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema (AAP) demanded immediate discussion on the two incidents.
The SAD members then rushed to the well of the House to protest against the rejection of their adjournment motion on the police action against the schoolteachers in the CM’s hometown. After raising slogans against the Congress government for a while, the Akali and BJP MLAs staged a walkout.
AAP’s Dakha (Ludhiana) MLA HS Phoolka said the government should have zero tolerance towards such heinous crimes. The police official, who was placed under suspension for alleged negligence, should be dismissed from service, he demanded. Phoolka has resigned from the party but his resignation is yet to be accepted.
AAP’s Sarbjit Kaur Manuke said the law and order machinery in the state had failed, while Lok Insaaf Party’s Simarjit Singh Bains claimed police were being used to lathicharge teachers who were protesting peacefully. “The chief minister should give up the charge of home ministry to someone else,” he said.
Amarinder assured the state assembly of strict action in the Ludhiana gangrape case. “The law and order situation has been handled effectively in the state in the past two years. Of the six accused in Ludhiana gangrape case, three have been arrested and the rest will also be nabbed soon,” he said.
The CM said he would meet the chief justice (of the Punjab and Haryana high court) and seek his personal intervention for fast-track courts to try such cases to ensure speedy justice.
When the AAP legislators insisted on a discussion and entered the well of the House, Amarinder said he was ready for discussion on law and order. The speaker, however, did not give permission for this. “I will take a decision on this,” he said. The slogan-shouting AAP members staged a walkout in protest.
Later, Cheema sought an explanation from the government on the police action on schoolteachers and others who were “protesting peacefully” to press their demand for regularisation.