CHANDIGARH: In wake of the deteriorating law and order situation in Punjab, a Congress delegation on Tuesday met Governor Banwari Lal Purohit and also highlighted the misuse of police force to file a case against party leader Alka Lamba and poet Dr Kumar Vishwas.
The delegation led by Punjab Congress President Amarinder Singh Raja Brar Warring and Congress Legislative Party leader Partap Singh Bajwa also requested the Governor to quash the “illegal” knowledge sharing agreement executed between Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and his Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal.
Highlighting “the alarming deterioration of law and order situation in Punjab”, the Congress leaders said in their memorandum, “Criminals are going scot-free and they do not have any fear of law. The incumbent government headed by Mann seems to have no clue about what is happening in the state. Moreover, they are busy somewhere else and with things that are not remotely concerned with the state.”
Pointing out the clashes in Patiala, the Congress leaders said that there was anarchy and lawlessness on April 29 when two groups of people came face to face brandishing swords and other weapons.
“A religious place was brought under siege. This happened despite the fact that the state government had got advance intelligence inputs that tension was building up and tempers were rising high in the city between two groups of people. On April 29, it was a complete failure of the administration and total anarchy was let loose in the streets of Patiala,” the Congress leaders said.
They also highlighted that there was a sense of fear among people. “This was all because the government failed to take any timely action,” the Congress leader said, adding that the replacement of some police officers was too little and too late and moreover just an eyewash to provide a face-saving to the government.”
The Congress leaders also targeted the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Punjab over the misuse of police against political opponents.
“We also want to bring to your kind attention the way the police are being misused to settle personal scores with political opponents. Registration of FIR against renowned poet Dr Kumar Vishwas and prominent Congress leader Alka Lamba is an example as to how the police are used to settle personal scores,” the leaders stated in their memorandum.
The Congress leaders said that even the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday stayed the arrest of Dr Kumar Vishwas while observing that the case against him was politically motivated.
The Congress leaders alleged that when the police are assigned the task of fixing political opponents, it gets little time to do their primary job, which is to maintain law and order.
“We would like you to use your good offices to prevail upon the state government and make it realize what its duties are. At least make this government realize that its paramount responsibility is to ensure safety and security of the people of Punjab and ensure that no citizen of this state feels insecure or threatened,” the Congress leaders said.
“It is important to restore the confidence of people in the rule of law, which this government, under Mann, has failed to do so far,” the Congress leaders added.
In another memorandum, the Congress leaders described the Knowledge Sharing Agreement between Punjab and Delhi governments as illegal.
The Congress leaders said, “It is brought to your kind attention that the said agreement is per se illegal and void ab initio because both the signatories i.e. Chief Ministers of both the States have no inherent power as per the provisions of the Constitution of India to enter into such agreement without due deliberation by the Council of Ministers of their respective States and without prior approval of the Punjab Governor as well as of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.”
“This agreement has been executed and signed by both the Chief Ministers at their own level which can’t be termed as lawful in any way. It is pertinent to mention herein that at the time of framing of the Constitution, the Constituent Assembly put specific provisions in the Constitution of India with regard to power, duties of Office of the Governor, Chief Minister and Council of Ministers and for ready reference the relevant provision of the Constitution of India,” they said.
Citing several rules of the Constitution, the Punjab Congress leaders demanded the Governor terminate or quash the illegal Knowledge Sharing Agreement between Punjab and Delhi.