Punjab Director General of Police Suresh Arora on Thursday condemned the vested interests trying to erode the credibility and morale of the police by launching a malicious and baseless campaign against him and other top brass of the force, and said he would explore all legal options against those engaged in the spiteful & conspiracy.Responding to questions from a group of journalists, the DGP broke his silence of the past several weeks to counter the “vile and vicious attack” on his integrity & credibility to categorically declare that during his career spanning 36 years, he had not supported any police officer involved in any criminal or corrupt activity.While refusing to comment on the specific allegations that had been made before the High Court as the matter was sub-judice, the DGP said he had been forced to break his silence on certain issues as he felt that the various aspersions on his character and official conduct were not only an attack on his unblemished reputation but were also affecting the morale of the police force.“My integrity and hard work of over 35 years is being brought under a cloud by certain vested interests perhaps for personal gains as well as other ulterior motives. I want to tell those people that I will do whatever is required to strongly defend my name and reputation and also that of my force, and I would explore all legal options in this regard,” the DGP asserted.The half-baked accusations being published, highlighted and circulated by vested interests for furtherance of their objectives also had direct and serious implications for national security, said Arora, adding that this became even more pertinent in view of the fact that Punjab was a border state with its neighbouring country constantly trying to cause disruption, insurrection and destabilization in the State as well as the Indian nation-state.The DGP stressed that it was incumbent that the top brass of the State’s police force enjoys a clean image and credibility. The State of Punjab cannot compromise on the question of merit and integrity of its topmost police officers, he added.Referring to his own unblemished record, the DGP pointed out that he had served as SSP in many districts during difficult times, including as SSP Amritsar during Operation Black thunder. Arora further said he was the only serving officer in the state empaneled, after a very rigorous process, to hold the position of Director General under the Government of India.Even as he came out in his own defence, the DGP made it clear that he would continue to scrupulously avoid either favouring or targeting any officer of the force. While he had always endeavored to be objective while evaluating the work and conduct of his subordinates, Arora said he was opposed to media trials and believed that in the present day and age of free-for-all media, every effort should be made to give a free deal to every individual, even one who is seemingly under a cloud.While nobody is above the law, it is imperative to protect officers against vague and unsubstantiated allegations, as well as against unconfirmed and unverified insinuations, the DGP stressed, adding that the officers are discharging their responsibilities at grave threat to their lives and those of their family members from terrorist outfits, based in the country and abroad.As a border State faced with an extremely inimical neighbour, Punjab was dealing with a very serious situation, which warranted that all protection be given to fearless officers who are in the forefront of fighting terrorism, said the DGP. He added that “it would be unfair on my part to deny a fair deal under the legal system of the country to any officer who has made a contribution in this regard.”Asked specifically about former Moga SSP Raj Jit Singh, Arora said he had never worked with the officer and the issue pertained to 2013, when he was not even the DGP. He denied that Raj Jit was his blue-eyed boy and made it clear that if the officer was found to be involved in any criminal activity, he would have to face the consequences under the law.However, the DGP made it clear that the zero-tolerance policy on drugs and other heinous crimes, which the Chief Minister had asked him to uphold at all costs, would not be compromised under any circumstances. While not suggesting that in an 80,000 strong force, there are no black sheep, the DGP said he was committed to reforming those who are capable of reform, and taking exemplary action where ever warranted.