WARNS AKALIS THAT HIS GOVT NOT SITTING QUIET ON BARGARI ETC & ACTION WILL BE TAKEN AGAINST CULPRITS
Chandigarh, March 19:
Even as he called for a tough stance by the Government of India against Pakistan-backed terrorism, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said his government was committed to ensuring strict action against those responsible for Bargari and other sacrilege cases.
“If the Akalis think we are sitting quiet on the sensitive sacrilege and other serious issues, they are sadly mistaken,” said the Chief Minister, adding, however, that he did not believe in engaging in `tu tu main main’ kind of war of words with them but wanted to remain focused on critical issues of interest to the state.
Speaking at a conclave on the completion of his government’s three years in office, Captain Amarinder said his focus had been on tackling drugs, gangsterism and political killings – all of which were rampant under the SAD-BJP rule, and this had been done effectively.
Asserting that his government will now allow Pak-backed terrorists to foment trouble in Punjab, the Chief Minister said he had been urging the central government to be tough on Pakistan. “This cannot go on,” he declared, adding that Punjab is not Kashmir, and was well equipped to fight back. The Army could continue fighting terror in Kashmir, but in Punjab, in addition to the BSF as the first line of defence at the borders, the 85,000 strong police force was well equipped to deal with any threat, he said, adding that the Army was also there for support as and when needed.
Taking a tough stance against Pak-sponsored terror, Captain Amarinder said things like the Pulwama attack and the chopping of heads of the soldiers at the borders was not acceptable. “We have to be tough with Pakistan, they do not understand any other language,” he said, adding that he did not really understand the policy of the neighbouring country, which was fighting everyone on all fronts.
On a different note, however, the Chief Minister recalled how Pervez Musharraf had immediately released 500 Indian prisoners, whose list he shared with the then Pakistan President during his first visit to the country during his previous tenure, and whom he (Captain Amarinder) brought back home with him.
Citing the recent seizures of China-made drones, smuggling weapons and drugs from across the border into Punjab, Captain Amarinder said large quantities of both had been recovered through the collective efforts of Punjab Police and the Special Task Force (STF). Pointing out that with drugs being pushed into Punjab from Uri, Chamba, the Gujarat port, Nepal and Burma, via Delhi, the state had become a hub for narco terrorists, he said the fight to eliminate the drugs completely was continuing on war footing.
Terming the gangster culture a result of popularisation of gangsterism through movies and Television, the Chief Minister said his instructions to the police force were clear – ask them to surrender and if they refuse to, then fight them and let them suffer the consequences.
He made it clear that his government had a `no mercy’ policy against gangsters, who had a free reign during the Akali rule and were going around shooting anyone, including the police. But the police have now got the better of these gangsters, with nearly 2500 in custody and 11 neutralised, he said, adding that one gangster had been recently extradited from Armenia and another had been identified in Italy, with his extradition to be secured in the near future.
Vowing now to let Punjab go back to the dark days of terror, when people were living in despair and hopelessness, Captain Amarinder said he was trying to bring back their lost smiles and hoped to succeed during his lifetime.