Won’t interfere if SIT in sacrilege cases books any senior police officer or politician: Amarinder

Chandigarh, Mar 18 (Bureau) Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday said the SIT probing the sacrilege cases would soon complete its investigation and he will not interfere if they decide to challan any senior police officers or politicians. The Chief Minister’s remarks came two days after SIT chief IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh said the final supplementary challan in the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases would be filed in Fardikot court soon. Nine challans have already been filed by the SIT in the two cases.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had been deliberately delaying the matter but now the Punjab Police had received the files in the cases and everything was under control, said Capt Amarinder at the press conference to mark four years of his government. The cases will be investigated to their logical conclusion and the guilty will be punished, irrespective of who they are, he added. Listing out some of the key achievements of his government, the Chief Minister said his government had successfully broken the backbone of the drugs chain, which is what he had pledged to do with Gutka Sahib in his hands. Contrary to what was being wrongly claimed in the media, he clarified that he had never said he will eliminate the drugs mafia completely. “I had clearly said – main nasheyan di lak todanga,” he pointed out.

The drugs situation in the state was much improved, he said, citing the success of Punjab Police’s Operation Red Rose. Similarly, in the illicit liquor case, he said the supply chain had been broken, with all culprits in last year’s hooch tragedy and the Khanna illicit factory case identified and charge-sheeted. Unfortunately, the legal system in the country moves slowly, causing delay in punishment, he added. The process of ending the various mafias (mining, liquor, transport, drugs etc) was continuing, but their backs had been effectively broken in the past four years, said the Chief Minister, adding that it was a gradual process and could not be done in a day.

However, the progress was clearly visible, he said, pointing to the increase in revenue from sand from Rs 35 crore under the SAD-BJP regime to Rs 350 crore now. Similarly, the Excise earnings from liquor sales had gone up from about Rs 4300 crore under the Akalis to Rs 7200 crore (budgeted) in the current fiscal, he said, adding that this was despite the problems triggered by the Covid situation. In response to a question relating to the criminal cases against gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari, who is currently lodged in a Punjab jail and whose custody is sought by Uttar Pradesh, the Chief Minister said the matter was sub-judice. But if Ansari has committed a crime in Punjab he will have to pay the price for it, he added.

Amarinder bats for ‘India for Indians
Chandigarh, Mar 18 (Agency) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday opposed the policy of excessive regionalisation being followed by certain states claiming it is not a good thing. He said , he believed that India is one country and in the theory of “India for Indians”. The Chief Minister was responding to a question on reservation in jobs for local youths, as recently announced by neighbouring Haryana, which has reserved 75 per cent of jobs for locals in the private sector. Pointing out that there was no state in India where Punjabis were not flourishing and doing a great job, Capt Amarinder questioned “why Punjabis cannot buy land in Himachal Pradesh or do not have certain rights in Kashmir and Rajasthan.” “If we start regionalising, we will suffer,” the Chief Minister warned.