Chandigarh: Condemning the killing of a man allegedly by the liquor mafia in Jalandhar, Congress and AAP today alleged that there was a “complete breakdown” of law and order in the state.
Congress leaders in a joint statement said the murder of Manish Luthra in Jalandhar comes just after a youth, Sukhchain Singh, was killed in Mansa for similar reasons, symbolising “total anarchy” prevailing in Punjab.
They accused the Parkash Singh Badal government of “spreading jungle raj”.
The statement was jointly issued by state Congress vice-president Avtar Henry, general secretary Tejinder Singh Bittu, Jalandhar urban and rural presidents Rajinder Berry and Jagbir Brar respectively.
Attacking the state government and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who holds the Home Affairs portfolio, the leaders alleged that the mafia was enjoying the patronage of Akali Dal leaders.
Alleging that the police was “playing into the hands” of SAD leaders, they said, “The way the police force is functioning, it would not be wrong to say that the men in ‘Khaki’ have virtually turned into Akali workers.” Demanding immediate arrest of those involved in Luthra’s murder, they said like Sukhchain Singh, he was also murdered for standing up against the liquor mafia “which is controlled by the Badals”.
Meanwhile, AAP’s Punjab Convener Gurpreet Singh Waraich said, “The law and order situation has hit a new low in Punjab and it was evident from the series of murders by the liquor mafia this year.”
“It seems the mafias — be it in liquor, sand, land, cable or transport, are virtually ruling the state. This can be gauged from the fact that even after having enough evidence of mafia involvement in the crime the police seemed to be in fear to act under pressure from Akalis,” Waraich alleged.
He said if voted to power, the AAP would wipe out the mafia from state and even abolish “Gunda Tax” being taken from sand miners.
AAP demanded Sukhbir’s resignation alleging he failed to maintain law and order in the state.
Condemning atrocities on the Dalit community in the state, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said he will soon meet family members of the Dalit youth who was killed in Mansa.
“I will meet the youth’s family and assure them that the culprits will not go scot-free,” he said in Amritsar.
He sought a thorough and unbiased probe in the case and alleged that the repeated attacks on Dalits “were being carried out by mafia and criminals having links to the SAD leadership”.
“Such criminals cannot be allowed to roam free. It is the state government’s responsibility to bring them to book,” he said.
“It is evident that crime against Dalits in Punjab has increased by horrendous proportions under the Badal regime,” he alleged, demanding stern and prompt action against the perpetrators in crimes against Dalits.
Taking a jibe at Badal’s claims of Punjab being a peaceful state under his rule, he asked, “How can Badal even think of making such a claim when the government has completely failed to ensure the safety of people?” Punjab has become a “crime state” under Badal’s rule, he alleged. PTI
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