Punjab Congress leaders on Thursday lashed out at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for a ‘complete collapse’ of law and order in the state. The party questioned the failure of the Punjab Police in nabbing the culprits responsible for the killing of Sidhu Moosewala. They asked if the Chief Minister was threatened, who could be safe in Punjab.
Addressing a joint press conference, the Punjab Congress President, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, the Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Partap Singh Bajwa, and others asserted that the situation in Punjab was deteriorating fast and they feared it might drift to a position of no return.
Former Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Deputy CLP leader Raj Kumar Chabbewal, former minister Sukh Sarkaria and senior leader Sukhpal Khaira were also present at the press conference.
Warring pointed out that 24 days had passed and the Punjab Police is still clueless about Sidhu Moosewala’s murder. He said, whatever small progress has been made is only because of the Delhi Police and the Maharashtra Police. Even the prime suspect, Lawrence Bishnoi, the leaders pointed out, was handed over to the Punjab Police by the Delhi Police, which they claim as a great achievement.
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Referring to frequent calls for ransom to people across the state, the CLP leader Partap Bajwa said, even the Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had himself revealed that he had also received threat calls. “Ideally, a mature Chief Minister would not tell it to the public even if he had actually received a threat call as this will further shatter the already shaken confidence of people in this government,” he observed while pointing out, “Common man will start feeling that if the CM is not feeling safe, who else will”. “Or is it the way to shrug off responsibility and tell people, what can I do when I am being threatened myself,” he asked Mann.
Criticising the AAP government for trying to put the blame on the gangster culture on the previous government, Bajwa pointed out, the Tihar Jail is supposed to be the most secure jail in the country. The main suspect, Lawrence Bishnoi, was in that jail for the past several years, he added, while pointing out that the entire responsibility and blame lies on the AAP government of Delhi under which Tihar Jail comes. He asked, “How was it possible that Bishnoi was getting all the facilities in Tihar jail?”
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Sukhjinder Randhawa asked the government to tell people what Bishnoi revealed during his long custodial interrogation. “They should ask him who provided Bishnoi with a mobile phone through which he operated and executed Moosewala’s murder and who supplied him with such modern and sophisticated weapons.”
The former Deputy Chief Minister also asked the government why it had not registered an FIR against Sikhs for Justice leader, Gurpatwant Singh Pannu, who has been openly saying that he funded the AAP election campaign. “Why is Bhagwant Mann quiet about it and why is he not taking any action?” he asked.
The Congress leaders asked the government to take the issue of law and order seriously. They said the issue must not be viewed with a partisan lens as it concerns everyone in Punjab. They also announced that the Congress party will continue to build up pressure on the government to ensure the safety and security of the people.