Chandigarh: Congress Deputy Leader in Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh today strongly condemned the killing of two persons in “police firing” near Kotkapura while they were protesting against the alleged desecration of a holy book. “Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has virtually lost control over things and the state is drifting towards anarchy,” he alleged in a statement here.
Asserting that the situation in Punjab was “going from bad to worse”, Amarinder said Badal should quit if he was not able to maintain law and order in the state. “Trying to assert your authority by use of brute force and killing unarmed protesters is not going to restore your image and credibility that has been eroded beyond any hope of redemption,” he told Badal while warning the chief minister not to add fuel to the fire.
Holding Badal squarely responsible for the current situation including the loss of two lives, the former Chief Minister said, “Whenever situation has demanded, Badal has always failed to rise to the occasion by letting down people of Punjab. And, he has failed again”.
“This is not the way to deal with hurt sentiments of people… Police are expected to exercise utmost restraint under such situations, but unfortunately today they turned trigger happy,” Amarinder alleged. He said instead of identifying the culprits and bringing them to the book, the Akali-BJP government has killed and injured “innocent protesters”.
“If you can exercise utmost restraint against other protesters and rightly so, why did you need to show such utmost hurry in resorting to firing on unarmed people without any provocation?” he asked Badal.
“Or was it that you wanted to convey some hidden message and appease someone for your vested political ends,” he added.Two people were killed and 75 others, including an IGP, were injured as clashes rocked a number of places in Punjab, including Faridkot, Moga and Sangrur districts, over alleged desecration of a holy book.
A major clash between protesters and police took place in Behbal Kalan village, some 20 kms from here, where activists of various sikh organisations, including radicals, had set up a blockade. The protesters were agitated over reports of tearing of pages of a holy book.