Ludhiana, November 20
SAD president Sukhbir S Badal visited hosiery manufacturer Sambhav Jain at Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) here who was kidnapped and injured during shooting by gangsters. He expressed his apprehension that deterioration of law and order could lead to further migration of industry to other states.
Badal expressed shock at the repeated manner in which industrialists and traders were being targeted by gangsters under the alleged patronage of ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) dispensation and asserted that this would adversely affect industrial economy and create a sense of fear and insecurity in trade and industry.
He also interacted with prominent members of the hosiery industry who told him that they were feeling so unsafe that they were ready to hand over the keys of their establishments to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. A senior industrialist mentioned how four cases of snatching and dacoity had occurred on a single day recently, adding that industrialists also had to face extortion calls from government agencies including the Pollution Control Board.
Talking to media persons, Badal said: “It has been more than one year now that industrialists and traders have been receiving extortion calls from gangsters and are also being killed, the Chief Minister has failed to take effective steps against the criminal gangs who continue to indulge in their nefarious activities even from inside the jails.”
He said the downward spiral in law and order situation in Punjab had forced industrialists from the state to invest in Uttar Pradesh and other states. “This tendency has now increased and many industrialists are moving lock, stock and barrel from Punjab.” He said the trend would result in increased unemployment besides dealing a death blow to Punjab’s industrial sector.
Alleging that emboldened gang of criminals were striking at will, he gave the recent example of how a restaurant owner in Bathinda was murdered in broad daylight, close to a police check-post. He also mentioned gruesome killings in Nakodar and Faridkot asserting that the situation had deteriorated to such an extent that even police personnel were not safe now, giving the example of how a constable was killed in Barnala last month and an ASI in Amritsar this year. The SAD president said it was shocking that despite all this, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had refused to take corrective measures in his role as Home Minister and continued to waste time ferrying AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal to other states at the cost of state exchequer.
Earlier, during his visit to Ludhiana, Sukhbir along with his wife and Bathinda MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal, visited senior Akali leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal to express condolences over the demise of his brother PS Grewal, former CMD of National Fertilisers Limited (NFL).
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