Punjab Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, accompanied by Border Security Force (BSF) officers and Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, toured the border districts Wednesday, 10 days after the Dina Nagar terrorist attack.
However, the visit had strong political overtones, with allegations hurled at the Congress, and the BSF sidelined or coming under criticism.
BSF IG M F Farooqi, Punjab Police IG, Border Range, Ishwar Chander, DIG A K Mittal, Deputy Commissioner Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal and SSP Manmohan Kumar Sharma were also part of the Deputy CM’s entourage.
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They also they shared the stage with the Deputy CM in Khalra. DGP Saini said, “You all know what happened at Dina Nagar. The deputy CM was in regular contact with the police when the operation against terrorists was on. He was monitoring the operation.”
“The deputy CM chaired a high-level meeting and issued directives. He has instructed the authorities concerned not only to maintain security vigil but also to instill a sense of security among the people of border areas. He has sought deployment of more forces in the border region. The police will provide every possible help to the public. Officers will visit villages. Short and long term measures has been taken.”
MLA Valtoha told the gathering, “We will assure a big victory for the deputy CM from this constituency. But there are some issues faced by farmers to solve,” he said, before launching into criticism of the BSF and ARMY. “The BSF and army have illegally encroached upon the land of the farmers,” said Valtoha.
The deputy CM said, “The terrorists’ motive was to hurt Punjab and the country. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the Punjab police for the force’s bravery. Our motive is to maintain peace in Punjab. The police and public will work hand-in-hand to maintain peace. I have listened to Valtoha. He has explained the problems you face. I will come back within a month and hold Sangat Darshans in all villages. I will start my grant from Rs 25 crore,” said Sukhbir.
Sukhbir also spoke about the steps the government had taken on power supply, pensions, tube well connections, roads repair and so on. There was no dearth of money in Punjab, he said.
He, too, attacked the Congress. “The Congress can only make promises. But they can do nothing.”
Sukhbir did not mention BSF in his speech.
As part of Akali tradition, DGP Saini was honoured with a siropa (robe of honour) along with Sukhbir for their bravery in the Dinapur operation.
When asked if central agencies can be included in the probe, Sukhbir said, “There has been no need of central agencies for investigation into the Dina Nagar attack. The Punjab police has been doing it. Facts are coming out, slowly.”