Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 27
Dubbing today’s attack on BJP MLA Arun Narang in Malout “a disgraceful incident and a sad day” in Punjab’s history, party’s state president Ashwani Sharma said the government had clearly failed to maintain law and order.
Sharma said in a democratic set-up, political parties had every right to protest but a “code of decency” had to be followed. “The police could not protect an elected MLA. What will a common man be subjected to if a mob takes over?” said Sharma.
BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh said the attack had exposed the collapse of law and order in Punjab. In a statement, he held Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh responsible for the incident, saying it seemed to be a Congress strategy to engineer attack on BJP leaders on the pretext of the farm stir. He said Capt Amarinder was instigating such attacks to stifle the voice of the BJP.
Chugh recalled how murderous attacks by Congress workers were engineered on him, Punjab BJP president Ashwani Sharma and many other BJP leaders.
He said it’s not just reprehensible but alarming for the state. He demanded the Chief Minister’s resignation over his “failure” in maintaining law and order in the state.
Former BJP minister Manoranjan Kalia also condemned the attack on the Abohar MLA. “The police were present in sufficient numbers, still Narang was not only thrashed but his clothes were ripped off. If an elected representative is not safe, the safety of common man can be well imagined. Law and order has totally collapsed in Punjab,” said Kalia, demanding imposition of President’s rule in the state.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) termed the violent attack on the BJP legislator “deplorable” and demanded an impartial inquiry into the incident to fix responsibility for the failure of the state police in protecting the dignity of an elected representative.
Reacting to the assault on the legislator at Malout, party president Sukhbir Singh Badal urged everyone to exercise restraint to ensure peace and communal harmony in the state.
He also castigated the state police for failing to do its duty even as he maintained the Congress government had failed miserably in maintaining law and order.
Assembly Speaker Rana KP Singh said such incidents had no place in a democratic setup. “It is not only unacceptable, but highly condemnable that an elected representative was thrashed in full public view.... We will not allow anyone to take law into their own hands,” he said, adding such incidents were aimed at maligning the farmers’ agitation and weakening their cause.
The Speaker has asked the DGP to identify the culprits and take strict action. He sought a time-bound report on the incident and the action taken thereof.
Narang hospitalised in Abohar
BJP legislator Arun Narang, who was allegedly thrashed by farmers at Malout, was admitted to the Subdivisional Civil Hospital on Saturday evening. Ashok Chhabra, vice-president of the district BJP unit, has also been hospitalised. The duo was examined by Senior Medical Officer Dr Gagandeep Singh and Dr Kavita. Narang was feeling uneasy due to the incident, party sources said. OC
Legislator ‘returns’ police security
Upset at the attack by farmers at Malout, where he had gone to address a press meet to highlight the “failure” of Capt Amarinder Singh govt in fulfilling the 2017 poll promises, MLA Arun Narang has reportedly returned the Punjab Police security personnel provided to him. Fazilka SSP Harjeet Singh and Abohar DSP Rahul Bhandari along with officers visited Narang’s residence and inquired about the sequence of events. OC
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