November 1, 2017 7:49:35 pm
Rejecting his predecessor Parkash Singh Badal’s charge that Punjab was slipping into anarchy, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said Wednesday that law and order in the state had improved as compared to the situation in the previous 10 years. Challenging the 90-year-old five-time former CM to prove his allegations, Amarinder Singh claimed there was a marked decline in major incidents of crime since the Congress government took over in March this year.
“In stark contrast to the jungle raj prevailing during the SAD-BJP regime led by Badal, a general state of peace prevails today in Punjab with incidents of sacrilege and drug trading, as well as heinous crimes like murder and kidnapping coming down drastically in the past eight months,” the 75-year-old CM claimed in a statement.
Yesterday, Badal had expressed concern over the law and order situation and said that Punjab was fast slipping towards a complete and dangerous anarchy. His comments had come in the backdrop of the assassination of a Hindu outfit leader, Vipan Sharma, in Amritsar and other incidents including alleged attacks on Akali workers. In his statement, Amarinder Singh claimed that people were earlier living under a blanket of fear with gangsters ruling the roost “under the patronage of the ruling coalition”.
With the Congress government cracking down on them, gangsters and criminal elements are fleeing the state out of fear of arrest and penal action, he added. On opposition charge about targeted killings being carried out in the state, Amarinder Singh said that such attacks commenced almost two years ago, when the Akalis were in power.
“In fact, it was during the rule of the Badals when the state witnessed two fidayeen (terror) attacks,” he added. Citing data, the chief minister said that between March 15, 2017 and September 30, 2017, a total of 21,721 cases under IPC were registered as against 21,926 cases registered in the corresponding period of 2016, when Akalis ruled the state.
There has been a decrease in all major categories of heinous crime cases, such as murders, kidnapping, abductions, robberies and dacoities, during the said period of 2017 as compared to the corresponding period of the previous year, said Amarinder Singh.
“While murder cases in the period under review had come down from 454 to 384, cases of kidnapping/abduction had declined from 936 to 915. The figures for dacoity stood at 29 and 17 respectively, and those for robbery were 76 in the said period of 2016 and 65 for the corresponding period of 2017,” he said.
As for action on the drugs front, there had been a whopping increase in the number of cases registered under NDPS Act and Excise Act, as well as the seizures of drugs, said Amarinder Singh. He claimed that Badal had not bothered to check on facts and was trying to fool the people with “unfounded allegations” against the government.
Contrary to what Badal was trying to project, the civil and police administration in the state was working closely together on a day-to-day basis to ensure peace and communal harmony, Amarinder Singh added. He congratulated the people of Punjab for steering the state on the path to development and progress despite the 1966 bifurcation “which deprived it of several vital resources”.
“Though the state witnessed a setback, with the SAD-BJP government of the past 10 years doing everything in its power to reverse its development, Punjab is once again at the cusp of exceptional growth under the people-friendly policies of the Congress government,” he said in a statement.
The chief minister declared that promises made to the people during the poll campaign will be fulfilled, despite the financial debt burden allegedly inherited by his government from the “corrupt SAD-BJP government”.
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