Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday held Akali leader and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal squarely responsible for the Behbal Kalan police firing in the wake of the 2015 Bargari sacrilege incident, saying he was sure the fresh Commission of Inquiry probing the matter would expose the involvement of Mr.Badal.
How can a Superintendent of Police order firing, he was clearly instructed to do so, Captain Amarinder said, adding that he had all along been maintaining that Badal was behind the unwarranted police firing, which led to the death of two persons.
The Chief Minister was addressing a select gathering at a felicitation function organised by Shiromani Akali Dal (Delhi) and attended by a host of luminaries here.
Pointing to the spate of sacrilege incidents during the erstwhile Badal government rule, the Chief Minister said the Akali tenure had witnessed 183 such incidents, of which 121 remained unsolved, in contrast to the 13 incidents reported since the Congress government took over, of which 12 had been solved.
The Akalis had always played politics with religion, using it to further their own political ends, said Captain Amarinder, lambasting the erstwhile ruling party of ruining the state’s economy and creating communal unrest.
He said the false cases registered under the Badal rule were also a matter of concern and the commission set up by his government to inquire into those would identify the culprits and bring them to book. More than one lakh fake cases had been registered against innocent people by the Akali government, he pointed out, adding that as many as 28 cases had been registered against a boy in Ajnala, clearly showing their vindictiveness.
Captain Amarinder said there was huge resentment among the people of Punjab against the misdeeds of the Akalis, which was the reason for the party’s abominable performance during the assembly elections.
He cited the success of the war against drugs as an endorsement of his government’s commitment to bringing the state back on the track of progress. Nobody involved in drugs trade would be spared, he vowed.
He also identified unemployment as a major threat, pointing to the 90 lakh unemployed or under-employed youth in the state, and said all efforts would be made by his government to tackle the problem.
Expressing his gratitude to all present at the event, the Chief Minister said Punjab was witnessing change, which will further pick up momentum in the days and weeks to come. His government would definitely clean up the state, which had been plunged into turmoil by the previous regime.
SAD Delhi president Paramjit Singh Sarna presented a memento to the Punjab Chief Minister at the event, which was attended by various Sikh organisations of Delhi, prominent industrialists, legal luminaries and others.
Captain Amarinder’s wife and former Union Minister Preneet Kaur, former Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Deputy Speaker Punjab Vidhan Sabha Ajaib Singh Bhatti, and ex SGPC secretary and Akali leader Manjit Singh Calcutta also attended the function.
Speaking on the occasion, Sarna said the erstwhile SAD-BJP government had ruined Sikhism and its pride with its misrule in Punjab. They had plunged the state into the abyss of drugs, he said, while terming as unfortunate the sacrilege incidents that took place under the previous regime.
Captain Amarinder, whom he described as a popular leader among all sections of the society, had the ancestral responsibility to safeguard Sikhs, Sarna said.
He urged the Chief Minister to set up a high-level committee by inducting philosophers, intellectuals and so on to organise the 550th Gurpurab celebrations of Guru Nanak Dev. He also called for efforts to open the Kartarpur passage, to which the Chief Minister said he would take up the issue of opening this and other corridors in view of the ensuing Gurpurab celebrations.
Legal luminary KTS Tulsi lauded all Punjabis for ensuring a sweeping mandate for the Congress. He also praised Captain Amarinder for ensuring the smooth and timely procurement of wheat, as well as his efforts to wipe out the drugs and the transport mafias.
Ms.Dikshit wished Captain Amarinder a long, healthy and prosperous life, saying the country and the Congress needed people like him.
Preneet Kaur, in her brief remarks, called upon the people to work in tandem with the Congress government in Punjab to help tackle various problems, including the curse of drugs, farmer suicides and so on.
Manjit Singh Calcutta lambasted the Akalis for using the SGPC as a front to foment trouble in Punjab. He described as unprecedented the move by SGPC president Kirpal Singh Badungar to join the SAD dharnas, which clearly indicated that they were trying to use the religious body for their political gains.
Congratulating Captain Amarinder Singh for saving the rich heritage of Khalsa College Amritsar, Calcutta urged him to also protect Chief Khalsa Diwan.