The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today demanded immediate action against all political leaders and police officials responsible for afflicting third degree torture on grand-son of freedom fighter Giani Labh Singh. In a statement here, former minister and SAD general secretary Bikram Majithia said it was shocking that Congress leaders and workers were not even sparing the children of freedom fighters in their ongoing campaign to suppress all voices of dissent. He said the only mistake of Jagrup, the grand-son of a freedom fighter, was that he had given an application demanding vacation of illegal occupation of the pond of his native village Madhir in Muktsar district. "For this he was kept in illegal custody for 32 hours and subjected to third degree torture". The SAD leader said handing this case would be a litmus test for the Congress government which has repeatedly denied instances of political vendetta. "In this case the charge of political vendetta against Jagrup has been levelled by the Freedom Fighters' Descendants Association and not the SAD. The Association has asserted that Jagrup was tortured on the directions of Muktsar Congress legislator Amarinder Singh Raja Warring. It has even given the reason for the torture. Now it is for the government to act in the matter or admit that it is has no desire to action against its own leaders and workers".
Expressing solidarity with ex-servicemen, Mr Majitha said it was condemnable that the situation had come to such a pass that the freedom fighters' descendants had announced that they would boycott the State Independence Day celebrations in case justice was not delivered in the case. The Akali leader demanded immediate registration of case against the Congress legislator as well as other Congressmen responsible for this heinous crime. He also demanded dismissal of the SHO and other police personnel who had tortured Jagrup. "This is the least the government can do to honour the memory of our freedom fighters", he added. Mr Majithia also demanded quick action against gangsters who had murdered rice miller owner Ravinder Kochhar on Saturday. He said even though the gangsters had been identified on the basis of CCTV footage, the police was still dragging its feet and had failed to arrest the accused. He said this indicated that the accused were enjoying political patronage. The SAD leader said goondaism and extortion coupled with 'supari' killings had increased in the State because the government had given a free hand to the Congress cadre to settle scores. "This has encouraged anti-social elements and the State has descended into jungle raj", he added.