The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Punjab, which faces two-term anti-incumbency in the 2017 assembly polls, is battling another crisis — its police force have failed to crack key criminal cases that could cast a shadow on their prospects in the polls.
From the Guru Granth Sahib desecration case at Bargari last year, protests over which subsequently led to killing of two protesters in police firing, to RSS leader Jagdish Gagneja’s murder, Punjab Police have so far failed to get any major leads. The two cases were among those handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the Punjab government. Bargari also resulted in reshuffle of police officers at top level — Sursh Arora replaced Sumedh Singh Saini as Punjab DGP following the unrest over the Bargari case .
Police have not made much headway in the murder case of Namdhari sect matriarch Chand Kaur that is also lying with CBI. The only case that police claim to have cracked, and that too swiftly, was the desecration of Quran at Malerkotla in June this year. Aam Aadmi Party legislator from Mehrauli Naresh Yadav was among those arrested in connection with the case.
As per latest crime statistics released by National Crime Records Bureau, Punjab had a pendency percentage (of cases under various sections of IPC of 44.7 per cent by the end of 2015. Among the 29 states, only Manipur (pendency 81.4 per cent), Meghalaya (72.7 per cent) and Assam (51.9 per cent) had more cases pending investigation than Punjab.
“It is not that Punjab police have stopped investigating the cases handed over to CBI. Both are working together. We are assisting them in investigations. Sometimes, there is a need to rope in the CBI to crack the complex cases,” says Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora.
As such unsolved cases pile up, SAD faces political heat. In fact, handing over such cases to CBI appears a well-thought attempt by SAD to shift the onus on the central agency.
This is apparently to blunt any blame by opposition parties on the state government for failing to crack the cases.Badal slams Cong for politicising issue In Jalandhar on Thursday to offer condolences to family members of Gagneja, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had slammed the Congress for politicising sensitive issues concerning peace and communal harmony in the state.