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Punjab Congress Demands Sukhbir's Resignation

PTI 02 Jan 2010, 22:34:04 PM IST

Punjab Congress on Saturday  demanded Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's resignation "for undermining Ludhiana police and not allowing it to act independently" during the recent violence in the town which left one person dead. 

The party made the demand in its report on the incident submitted to the Governor S F Rodrigues here today by Leader of Opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal. 

The report is based on an on-the-spot inquiry conducted by the party into the violence, a PPCC spokesman said in Chandigarh.

Among the other "recommendations", the party said while the Punjab administration has displayed its complete inability to maintain law and order in Punjab the Union Home Ministry must send specific directives to the Punjab police so that senior officers are clear about their responsibilities. 

The Union Home Ministry should constitute a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the unprecedented levels of violence in Ludhiana in early December 2009, and all other major incidents in Punjab over the past 3 years, to ascertain whether the Punjab Government has fulfilled its obligations to maintain law and order. 

The party also demanded that the Punjab Government set up a Rs 50 Crore corpus relief fund to compensate victims of the recent Ludhiana violence and the immediate transfer for re-training of all Ludhiana police officers who failed to discharge their duties effectively during the unrest. 

It also demanded that the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal and his Deputy Sukhbir should refrain from making inflammatory statements that promote hatred among communities on religious grounds.

The Ludhiana Police should set up a community liaison cell with plain-clothes Community Outreach Officers who will work with each community's natural, elected and opinion leaders to understand the underlying tensions and reasons for discontent and build bridges between the community and the police, the party demanded. 

The report also said that the Ludhiana Police should instill confidence in the public that they can communicate their issues, without fear, to an intermediary body who they relate to. 

To enhance the security preparedness of this critical border state, it is imperative that a cross party committee be established, to include Punjab Congress leadership, to regularly receive briefings from the State and Central intelligence agencies, the Congress said.

The party also demanded establishment of a grievance cell for civil unrest specific cases, in partnership with a reliable NGO to ensure non-harassment of witnesses or victims and that no political leader, irrespective of party allegiance, be exempt from prosecution for abetting or inciting violence. PTI