Week after Hindu leader’s murder in Amritsar, 17 activists given security.
Amritsar – Exactly a week after Hindu Sangharsh Sena district chief Vipan Sharma was shot dead by unidentified miscreants in Bharat Nagar area of the city, the local police have deputed cops with 17 more Hindu activists. Even otherwise, there has been a steep rise in number of requests that the police have received for security from leaders of such organisations. Most cite threat to their life from radicals. Interestingly, the police have already ridiculed the involvement of radicals behind the murder of Sharma. Hindu activists claim threat to their lives saying that they could be targeted as they are vocal about the interest and welfare of Hindus in Punjab. To date, 37 police personnel have been deployed as security with 26 Hindu leaders and activists. Topping the charts, Shiv Sena Punjab chairman Sudheer Kumar Soori has nine Security guards, including an ASI With the Amritsar police. “We are inundated with phone calls and applications from Hindu activists since the murder shook the city. A few have genuine concerns, but many are just trying to cash in the opportunity to take security guards from the police as a status symbol. They are even politicising the issue to get guards,” a senior police officer said. He added that Soori had been among the most vocal leaders against radicals and thus was provided with strong security cover. Sources claim that the leaders also seek security for their acquaintances. “We are getting lists from Hindu leaders of various outfits including numerous Shiv Sena outfits active here and other Hindu outfits including Hindu Sangarsh Committee. They have included names of their associates as well, said another officer, adding that the process had been expedited after instructions from Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh to provide security to leaders. Soori and Arun Popa, president, All-India Hindu Sangharish Sena, have been blaming the police for not providing security to? Sharma despite requests. Popa, who has two police guards, said, “The police should not provide gun men to all applicants. It should verify and identify those who are under threat.” When questioned on the issue, DCP Amrik Singh Powar said, “We are providing security only after verification of the applications and have not entertained all requests. Some have applied for arms licences. We don’t want to take any risk. Leaders actually facing threat to their lives have been given security.”
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