Chandigarh, May 18: The situation in Punjab can’t be compared to Jungle Raj as the jungle law is based upon nature’s framework of maintaining a fine balance. Lion hunts not to kill but to eat and the killing is need based. That is nature’s way of maintaining balance.
The attack on Sikh preacher Ranjit Singh Dhadrianwale late last evening has many dimensions keeping in view the involvement of so many people. There were about 40 people manning the Chhabeel to serve cold water to the people on the highway from where the cavalcade of Dhadrianwale was to pass. This Chhabeel was just a cover adopted by the assailants. His programme was known to the attackers. It is strange that despite so many people having been involved in the execution of this attack, nothing leaked out. This points to the alarming signal of the state intelligence set up having miserably collapsed. A sensitive border state like Punjab can ill-afford such a situation. At one stage, the state intelligence apparatus was bye and large efficient.
The state has witnessed spate of such incidents, several of them part of the gang wars that too is a phenomenon that has hit the state only during the last few years. These gangs could be part of the mafia as Punjab is the main transit route for smuggling of drugs from Afghanistan for international market.
Dhadrianwale had donned pro-active role during series of incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and withdrew himself along with another preacher Panthpreet Singh as the leadership passed into the hands of those who had been associated with radical politics at one stage. That peaceful unprecedented mobilization of the people was virtually sabotaged by the organisations like Sikhs for Justice by taking up the issues that the people had rejected years back. Despite the Sarbat Khalsa at Chabba on November 10, 2015 being massive, none protested when the police detained the leaders and the so called takht ‘jathedars’ appointed at that congregation. Such organisations are doing more harm to the Sikh cause at the global level when the community is in the process of carving out its own space. The best example is Canada, a country having more Sikh ministers than India. These so called radical one-man organisations are damaging the Sikhs.
The truth would emerge when the case is fully investigated. The police in the state has very dubious record in this respect as no important case beginning with the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari to assassination of Chand Kaur, widow of Namdhari chief Jagjit Singh has made any progress. The namdharis have staged demonstrations even in Delhi demanding the arrest of the culprits.
Several cases have been handed over to the SITs but there has been little progress. Punjab has top heavy police structure where even gau rakshaks and ordinary Akali workers have been provided security cover. But then some are more equal than others and there is yet another class having super security cover. The issue is the general law and order situation in the state that keeps on worsening.
Punjab is one state in which the majority of the field officers are from the state cadre. At one time, the district police chief used to be only from the IPS cadre. It is the PPS officers who are considered to be more pliable. Moreover, the police station incharge is supposed to be accountable to the Akali Halqa incharge than his district boss who has little say in the appointment of the people at the cutting edge level. The chain of command seems to have collapsed. This has not happened suddenly but over the years. Punjab introduced the system of entrusting higher responsibility to the officials in the rank of inspectors who would be given the rank of superintendent of police but that was to deal with that special situation. The demands of normal policing are different.
There is little time left with the present ruling political dispensation to apply correctives. At stake is the security and safety of the common man. The system should respond to the needs of the common man – the AAM AADMI.