Amritpal Singh case: Noisy scenes in Punjab assembly; Cong, SAD flay govt

Amritpal Singh case: Noisy scenes in Punjab assembly; Cong, SAD flay govt

The Punjab Assembly on Wednesday witnessed noisy scenes after Congress MLAs stormed the well of the House for being denied a discussion on the law and order situation in the state, while the SAD condemned the invoking of the National Security Act (NSA) against radical preacher Amritpal Singh.

As Question Hour began in the budget session of the Vidhan Sabha here, Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa asked the Speaker about the adjournment motion on the law and order issue moved by his party.

Cong MLAs raise slogans

Speaker Kultar Singh Sandhwan told Bajwa that it has been disallowed. Following this, the Congress legislators rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans.

Also read: Punjab: 4 held for helping Amritpal escape, pictures of fugitive released

Congress leader Bajwa termed as wrong the Speaker’s decision to disallow the adjournment motion. He asked the Chair to give the Congress members some time to speak on the matter, but the Speaker retorted, “I want to say to you that Question Hour is sacrosanct…People of Punjab will not tolerate this. People are watching you.”

SAD says ‘false case’

Later during Zero Hour, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali said an “atmosphere of terror” has been created in the state, referring to the police action against Amritpal Singh and members of his outfit Waris Punjab De. SAD MLA alleged that many Sikhs youths are being implicated in “false cases”.

“The NSA which has been invoked, I understand is completely wrong,” he said adding, “If anybody, be it Amritpal Singh or any other person, has done wrong, action should have been taken under the ambit of law.”

The state government on Tuesday had informed the Punjab and Haryana High Court that the stringent National Security Act has been invoked against Amritpal Singh.

The radical preacher is on the run after police launched a major crackdown against his organisation and arrested a number of his aides. On Wednesday, police said a team has reached Jallupur Khera, Amritpal Singh’s native village in Amritsar, where they met some of his family members.

Ayali also condemned the suspension of mobile internet services in the state in the wake of the police crackdown.

“Sikhs, who are living in the country and abroad, are concerned over the present situation in Punjab,” the SAD legislator said.

Ayali said several innocent Sikh youths including in his own assembly segment were nabbed in the past few days. He demanded that “innocent Sikhs” should be released.

BJP for strong action

State BJP president and party legislator Ashwani Sharma objected to word Sikh being used by SAD MLA Ayali, saying Sikhs are a brave community.

However, he said there should not be any action against innocent persons.

Slamming Amritpal Singh, Sharma said the radical preacher had said that he was not a resident of India and does not believe in the country’s Constitution and the law. The BJP legislator from Pathankot also sought information regarding the action taken so far by the government in this matter.

“Whatever action the state government is taking, it should be strong,” he said.

Police action

Amritpal Singh had managed to give police a slip after changing his vehicle on Saturday when police had launched a crackdown against him and his outfit Waris Punjab De.

Also read: HC slams Punjab govt for failing to arrest Amritpal Singh; seeks status report from police

Police said efforts are on tracing him and bring him to the book. A lookout circular and a non-bailable warrant has been issued against the preacher. “Our efforts are on to arrest him,” said a police officer on Wednesday.

Punjab Police had arrested four people on Tuesday for allegedly helping Amritpal Singh escape their net and released seven photographs of the Khalistan sympathiser, including some in which he is not wearing a turban, to seek public help to nab the fugitive.

(With agency inputs)


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