Monday, Aug 08, 2022

'Sacrilege' Bids, Bomb Blast Aimed At Disturbing Punjab's Peace: Kejriwal

A bomb had exploded in the Ludhiana district courts complex on Thursday, killing one and injuring six, prompting the Punjab government to declare a high alert in the state.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi. PTI Photo

Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal on Friday said the alleged sacrilege attempts and the Ludhiana bomb blast are the handiwork of a few people wanting to disturb the state’s peace and such incidents will continue unless a strong government takes over.

The Delhi chief minister, who is on a Punjab visit, promised to set up a separate police unit to protect all religious places and prevent sacrilege incidents. He also called the drug case lodged against Shiromani Akali Dal leader Bikram Singh Majithia a "political stunt".

A bomb had exploded in the Ludhiana district courts complex on Thursday, killing one and injuring six, prompting the Punjab government to declare a high alert in the state. Police suspect that the man killed in the blast may have been trying to assemble or plant the explosive device. "A few days ago, there were cases of sacrilege. Now, there is a blast in Ludhiana. Such incidents before polls are being done under a conspiracy to vitiate the peaceful atmosphere in the state. It is the handiwork of a few people," Kejriwal told reporters in Amritsar.

After landing at the Amritsar airport, he went straight to Gurdaspur to address a public meeting. He told reporters there that he has full faith in the people of Punjab and that they will defeat the nefarious designs of those trying to foment tension. Hitting out at the Punjab government, he said, "There is a weak government in Punjab. They (ruling party leaders) are fighting amongst themselves. Punjab needs an honest, strong government, which acts against those indulging in conspiracies."

He said the person who "attempted sacrilege" at the Golden Temple must have been sent by someone influential to foment tension and that there have been several cases of sacrilege over the past five years. "Such incidents will keep taking place until a strong government takes over," he said. Addressing a public meeting at Hanuman Chowk in Gurdaspur, the AAP leader said a separate police unit will be formed to protect all religious places so that desecration cases don’t take place in future.

The AAP chief also slammed the Congress on the drug menace in the state, saying the government, during the previous election campaign, had promised to wipe out the mafia within a month of forming the government. "During five years, one FIR has been registered and Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and state Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu are boasting about it," he said in an apparent reference to the case lodged against Majithia.

Kejriwal said a well-entrenched drug network existed in Punjab and powerful dealers were involved. When asked about Majithia, he said, "Just 10 days before polls are to be announced, they are boasting. It is only a political stunt.” The former minister was on Monday booked under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act on the basis of a 2018 status report of a probe into the drug racket.

Kejriwal while addressing the public meeting gave "five guarantees" to people of the poll-bound state. He said if voted to power, his party will ensure security, law and order, peace and brotherhood of Punjab. "First, we will completely eliminate the corruption in police recruitment and transfers. Good, qualified and honest police officers will be appointed on high posts and unnecessary pressure and interference of MLAs, MPs, ministers and political parties in police work will be completely stopped," said Kejriwal. Kejriwal assured justice in all cases of sacrilege and strict punishment to the culprits.He also promised to crush nefarious designs of the anti-national forces from across the border. 

-With PTI Inputs