Gangster culture in Punjab has increased manifold during the past few years. Many cases of contract killings and gangwars have also been reported in different parts of Punjab. While the former SAD-BJP government had tried its best to bring a law to curb gangster culture, the present regime is also working on the same lines.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has announced implementation of PCOCA (Punjab control of organised crime act). The law will work on the lines of MCOCA in Maharashtra. The draft proposal for the law is at present being scanned for any legal discremancies.The act will not only curb gangster culture but also put a clamp on rising drug menace in the state.
Gangs Operating In Punjab
Atleast 57 gangs are operating in different districts of the state that comprise of 423 members. The situation is grave to the extend that a booklet regarding have been prepared by Punjab Police. There are reports that some of the gangs have political patronage. This was apparently the reason that out of total 55 cases regarding gangsters that reached courts between 2010-2016, punishment was pronounced in none of the matter.
What Is PCOCA?
Government of Punjab is working to curb the crime, but in the wake of weak laws criminals get out of the hands of cops. However, PCOCA will allow the police to act hard. Under the law, confessional statements of a criminal given in the presence of specific rank of police officer will be valid in the court.
DIG level and above officials will have the right to revoke sections of PCOCA from a criminal arrested under the law.
What are the merits and demerits of PCOCA in Punjab?
Police officers also point to the impossible task of securing witnesses in recent cases, including in the terror bombing at Maur during the assembly poll campaign, the killing of Sacha Sauda adherents, the assassination of Punjab RSS vice-president Brig. V.P. Gagneja and the gunning down of the Namdhari matriarch Mata Chand Kaur in 2016.Notably, even the CBI, which was handed over the investigation of the Gagneja and Chand Kaur killings, has not made much headway in the cases. Police officers point to the existence of 57 organised gangs with close to 500 members, underscoring their capacity to terrorise witnesses. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, though, is yet to take a final call-it’s hardly surprising, given the scope for abuse reported India Today.
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