The ongoing tussle between Rajya Sabha MP Partap Singh Bajwa and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh took a fresh turn Tuesday when Bajwa wrote to the state’s police chief accusing him of “complete abdication of professional integrity” in withdrawing his security cover and Amarinder hit back asking the disgruntled Congress leader to write to him or to the party leadership in Delhi if he had a grudge.
While Bajwa has opened a front against the Punjab government over recent deaths in the state allegedly caused by illegal ly-made spurious liquor, the latest face-off finds its genesis in the Amarinder dispensation’s move last week of withdrawing the state security given to Bajwa, saying he enjoys security cover provided by the Centre.
In a letter to Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta on Tuesday, Bajwa alleged a “bogus threat assessment” report was prepared by the police to rule out any threat to his life. “I am compelled to highlight your complete abdication of professional integrity and impartiality in the discharge of your duties as the DGP, Punjab,” the parliamentarian said in the letter. Bajwa said he was not writing the letter to seek restoration of security cover. “However, I am concerned with the politicisation of threat assessment reports and allotment of security to protectees,” he wrote.
“It is validated by intelligence reports (Central and state) that I have been under threat from anti-national and fundamentalist forces for last four decades. I survived an attack in 1990. Consequent to a threat analysis by Central agencies, I was provided with security in 2013 by the Centre in addition to being a protectee of Punjab Police,” he said.
Bajwa said he has been highlighting the “politico-police-drug nexus”, production and distribution of illicit liquor, under alleged “state patronage” and rampant illegal mining in Punjab for the last few years. “My threat perception stands confirmed and validated by several intelligence reports, however, it is evident that due to political interference and manipulation, a bogus threat assessment report was prepared overnight by the Punjab Police to rule out any threat,” Bajwa wrote.
In another letter, this one to Chandigarh DGP Sanjay Baniwal, Bajwa wrote that the CM and Punjab DGP will be solely responsible for any harm caused to his family due to the withdrawal of security cover. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Amarinder said Bajwa’s letters reflected his “frustration and desperation” and exposed his “shameless lies”.
Making it clear that it was his decision to withdraw Bajwa’s security cover, the chief minister said, “If he does not have confidence in me or my government, why has he not approached the party high command?… As many as 6,500 personnel were pulled out of personal security for Covid-19 duties,” he said, adding that only six of these came from Bajwa’s security.