Tuesday, August 5, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Screen police, says Bir Devinder
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 4
Attacking the law and order machinery in the state, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Bir Devinder Singh, today demanded immediate screening of the Punjab Police and urged the Chief Minister to entrust the charge of the Home Department to a senior member of his Council of Ministers.

Mr Bir Devinder Singh’s outburst, his second in a week, against the police came at the bhog ceremony of an ex-serviceman and his son who were killed by a gang of robbers at Banur, near here.

“The confidence of an ordinary citizen in the police has been shaken. See the crime graph for the past few weeks. There has been a spate of armed robberies, snatchings and dacoities. People have been killed before being looted. It is all because that certain anti-social elements, who had either sneaked into the force or were inducted into the force during terrorism days were active again. These elements cannot change their habits.

“The Chief Minister is the custodian of the life and property of the people of Punjab. We in the ruling party are answerable to people. They gave us mandate and the Congress entrusted the responsibility to Capt Amarinder Singh. How can a Chief Minister, who has no time for his ministers, can keep a note of the affairs of the Police Department. Similarly, how a bureaucrat can do justice to the Home Department and other important departments,” he said.

He suggested that the Home portfolio should be given to a senior member of the Council of Minister and an independent Home Secretary be appointed to monitor the working of the law and order machinery in the state.

“We have such a massive force of DGPs, ADGPs, IGs and DIGs who have no work but only golf to play. Why cannot experience and expertise of these officers be utilised in crime detection, night patrolling and surveillance. We have a DGP, and IGP, a DIG and an SP attached with the office of the Lok Pal, but we do not have a Lok Pal. Attached to these senior police officers are 150 to 200 security men. Are not we answerable to people for these things,” he asked?

Mr Bir Devinder Singh said though killing of an innocent boy in Patiala may be a stray incident, but it does not absolve the state of its responsibility of protecting life and property of the people.

He held that the command system in police had broken down. The district police chiefs and police station chiefs have direct access to the highest authorities in the state and as such deterioration in law and order was of no concern to any one.

Also present at the bhog ceremony were two senior Akali leaders Kanwaljit Singh and Prem Singh Chandumajra. All that they had to say was that the present government had only one point agenda— to harass leaders of the Opposition by slapping vigilance cases against them.

The SSP of Patiala, Mr Param Raj Singh , said while policemen involved in the murder of the 12-year-old boy had been arrested and charged with the crime, those responsible for the spate of robberies in Banur area have been identified.

He refused to comment on the outburst of the Deputy Speaker.

Police officials also refused to comment on the complaint of certain policemen of Banur that the Deputy Speaker had visited their police station and wanted that those taken in custody in connection with the recent spate of robberies should be produced before him.

The Director-General of Police, Mr A.A.Siddiqui, was not available for comments.

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |