Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the security forces to stay on alert in view of the "volatile situation" prevailing in some of the neighbouring states during Bharat Bandh called by various SC/ST organisations.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed the security forces to stay on alert in view of the “volatile situation” prevailing in some of the neighbouring states during Bharat Bandh called by various SC/ST organisations. Singh urged the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes community to wait for the Supreme Court’s decision on the review petition filed by the Centre and assured them of all possible efforts to address their grievances, both legally and administratively.
The chief minister, who personally monitored the situation throughout the day, claimed Punjab remained “largely peaceful” as a result of the security blanket in place. Though some incidents of blockade of railway tracks, roads and highways had been reported from certain areas, the protesters were quickly persuaded to lift the same, Singh said in a statement here, regretting the inconvenience caused to the people.
He lauded the police, district officials and paramilitary forces for showing exceptional restraint in dealing with large groups of “highly agitated and surcharged” protesters at more than 500 areas across the state. According to an official release, there were 10 incidents of blockade of railway track, 11 major road blockades involving national/state highways and 12 incidents of minor road blockades, with about 3-4 incidents of injuries to people, including a policeman in civil clothes in Mansa.
The chief minister thanked all the people for heeding his appeal and not allowing the situation to escalate out of control, as had happened in 2009, when violence had erupted in the state in the wake of the attack on a Guru Ravi Dass Gurdwara preacher in Vienna, leading to loss of life and property.
“Had the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime taken adequate precautionary measures at that time, the state would not have witnessed the unnecessary violence,” Amarinder said, taking a dig at Union minister Vijay Sampla’s statement in a section of media against the government’s decision to suspend Internet services ahead of today’s bandh.