The Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today reiterated his government's resolve to continue to follow a policy of zero tolerance against any attempt to disturb the hard earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in the state.The Chief Minister assured delegations of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and the RSS that met him and the Deputy Chief Minister Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal at the CM's residence this morning that peace and communal harmony in the state continue to remain the top priorities of the Akali-BJP government in the state. The delegations had called on the CM and the Deputy CM in the wake of the attack on the RSS (Punjab) Vice President, Brig Jagdish Gagneja in Jalandhar on Saturday night.
Giving details of the meetings, Chief Minister's Advisor on National Affairs Mr. Harcharan Bains told newsmen that the Chief Minister and the Deputy CM emphasized that safeguarding and strengthening the hard earned atmosphere of peace and communal harmony in Punjab remained the top priority of the SAD-BJP government in the state. The Deputy Chief Minister who also heads the Home Department in the state government reaffirmed the government's commitment to ensure that no one was allowed to take law into his own hands and those who violated the law would be made to rue the consequences of their actions and face the wrath of law and justice. Mr. Sukhbir Singh Badal also said that safeguarding the atmosphere of peace and communal harmony and maintenance of law and order in the state had always been accorded the highest priority by the SAD-BJP government in Punjab and there would be no deviation from this commitment.Both the CM and the Deputy CM condemned the attack on Brig. Gagneja in the strongest terms and said that violence and hatred were alien to a civilised and democratic society and ran against the preaching of the great Gurus, our great saints, seers and prophets. Meanwhile, a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by ADGP-cum-Director, Bureau of Investigation Mr. IPS Sahota has been set up to investigate the attack on Brig. Gagneja and circumstances leading to it. The team has been directed to get after the perpetrators of the heinous and dastardly crime against Brig. Gagneja in most expeditious manner and spare no effort in tracking the criminals down and bring them to book under the law of the land.
The Deputy CM disclosed that he was personally monitoring the law & order situation on a day to day basis. Safety and security of life and property of citizens was the highest priority for the government, said Mr Bains. He said that both the Chief Minister and the Deputy CM are being updated regularly by the state DGP on the current law & order situation. Meanwhile, the Deputy Chief Minister has issued a stern warning to anti-social elements to desist from trying to take law into their own hands or be prepared to face the wrath and might of the law enforcing machinery in the state."There will be no compromise on the issue of peace and communal harmony in Punjab. These are sacred ideals for us and we are committed to live up to them. Those who try to disrupt peace must prepare to pay an unbearable penalty for their actions," said the Deputy CM.The Chief Minister also has asked the state police chief to ensure the highest degree of vigil against elements with nefarious designs to divide society on sectarian or communal lines to disrupt peace and harmony in the state. Mr Badal said that although the government had always followed a policy of zero tolerance on attempts to disturb peace, the need for maintaining a high vigil and exercise stern and rapid response reflexes was even higher during these pre-election months. "The government cannot rule out the tendency in some quarters to be cynical in the use of unscrupulous means for cheap and petty political gains. We have to be ready for such attempts by over-ambitious and frustrated elements to take resort to desperate measures including attempts to drive a wedge between brotherly communities and to inflame passions for communalising the situation. While the people of Punjab have traditionally lived by the ideals of peace and communal harmony, the police and other wings of administration must be ready to respond to such challenges most sternly and expeditiously, with zero loss of time," said Mr Badal.
Mr. Badal appealed to the people of Punjab to "beware the vicious and divisive propaganda unleashed by some over-ambitious, unprincipled and unscrupulous anti-Punjab elements. The wheels of progress and all round development in the state are moving at an unprecedented speed. That is why the government's opponents are trying desperately to shift the agenda from development to other issues like violence and unrest, "said the Chief Minister.The Chief Minister warned that some cynical elements had been active in the state for sometime."These people have been found to be capable of denigrating sacred religious symbols and committing other outrageous acts to disturb peace in the state so that the agenda of progress and development is pushed on the back-burner. These tendencies and the dangers to the peace that they pose must be thwarted so that the march of progress and development in the state is not derailed by these elements," said the chief minister.The BJP delegation was led by the President of the BJP (Punjab Unit) and Union Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment Mr .Vijay Sampla and included National Vice President BJP and Organizational Incharge Punjab Mr. Prabhat Jha, National Vice President BJP Mr. Avinash Rai Khanna, former state Presidents Mr. Madan Mohan Mittal, Prof. Brij Lal Rinwa, Mr. Ashwini Sharma Mr. Manoranjan Kalia, Mr. Kamal Sharma and General Secretary Organization Mr. Dinesh Kumar. Later on, another delegation of RSS also called on the two leaders. This delegation comprised Mr. Rameshwar Pracharak Pramukh North Zone, Mr. Banvir Singh Seh- Kshetriye Pracharak North Zone, Mr. Pramod Kumar Prant Pracharak Punjab, Mr. Viney Sharma Prant Karyavaah Punjab, Mr. Munishwar Seh-Prant Karyavaah Punjab and Mr. Iqbal Singh Vibhaag Sangh Chalak Sangrur.