Seeking continuation of tarmac access at Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport in Amritsar for vehicles used by the Badal family, the Punjab Home Department has told Secretary, Civil Aviation, that Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and her brother Bikram Singh Majithia were being targeted by Pakistan’s ISI through “rabid” elements of Sikh extremist groups.
Citing new inputs by a central agency, a letter by Punjab Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Sandhu to Secretary, Civil Aviation, states that there were “concerted efforts on the part of ISI of Pakistan to motivate certain rabid elements to organise assassination bid on senior party leaders, particularly Sukhbir Singh Badal”.
The letter, sent in the first week of May, says these facts had emerged “with the arrest of terrorists and their associates in India and abroad” but does not specify their names or where they were arrested.
A 2014 permission to the trio and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal from the Civil Aviation department to drive their vehicles up to the tarmac at Amritsar is set to end on July 31. The state home department wants an extension for two more years.
This time, the chief minister’s name is not included for extension of permission. Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Jagpal Sandhu declined to speak on the matter while an officer associated with the chief minister’s security said his case for tarmac access was being taken up “separately”.
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Meanwhile, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal have been provided Z plus security, an official said, adding that Majithia has also been provided with a component of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) besides the Z plus security cover.