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Punjab refutes allegations of deteriorating law and order in state


Punjab refutes allegations of deteriorating law and order in state

Chandigarh, Feb 21 (IANS) Claiming that the ongoing agitation of farmers has been handled in an apt and diligent manner in the state, the Punjab government on Wednesday refuted the allegations that the law and order situation has deteriorated in the state.

On the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, Chief Secretary Anurag Verma has written to the Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, stating that it is incorrect to say that the government of Punjab has allowed a gathering of a large number of persons on the borders in Shambhu and Dhabi-Gujran.

He said the groups of farmers, which had set off for Delhi in order to hold a protest, were restrained and stopped from crossing over to Haryana by use of force by the police of the neighbouring state.

The Chief Secretary said that due to this restriction placed upon the movement of farmers, crowds have assembled at two places on the borders between Punjab and Haryana.

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However, he said the gathering of farmers in the jurisdiction of Punjab has remained largely peaceful and no untoward incident of much relevance has been reported so far.

Verma said this is apart from the injuries which have been sustained by about 160 people owing to the heavy use of riot control measures by the Haryana Police, including teargas shells, rubber bullets, physical force and drones.

The Chief Secretary said that despite these incidents, the government of Punjab has been able to manage the crowd in an orderly fashion.

Verma said regular parleys are on between the state officials and the farm leaders for dispersal of crowds on the borders, adding that no specific information on miscreants or law breakers in the guise of protesters is available with the police in a definite form.

However, the Chief Secretary said that internal reports are being gathered to take suitable and proper action against such elements as and where required.

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Verma said it is pertinent to point out that all the demands in respect of which the protest was planned by the farm unions are in respect of measures to be taken by the government of India, which has already held four meetings with the farm leaders.

The Chief Secretary said these meetings have not only been facilitated by the state of Punjab, but on three occasions, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has attended the meetings in person along with the concerned officials.

He said that on one occasion, when the Chief Minister could not be present at one of the meetings, a Cabinet minister of Punjab along with high-ranking officials of the departments concerned was deputed to attend and assist the Union ministers in the meeting.

Verma also requested the government of India to consider the demands of the farm unions more sympathetically so that the issue can be resolved amicably.

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He said Punjab being a border state has sensitive law and order issues and the same cannot be ignored while handling a protest of such a magnitude.

The entire police force has been sensitised to the situation which is under control as of now, Verma said.



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