Punjab in safe hands: Randhawa questions ‘alarmist narrative’ on state security

On Thursday, former CM Amarinder Singh said he met NSA Ajit Doval as he had apprehensions that "misgovernance" in Punjab can give Pakistan an opportunity.

In an apparent reference to former CM Amarinder Singh’s remarks about security threat to Punjab from Pakistan, state’s deputy CM Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who holds home portfolio, Friday warned against “alarmist narrative” by “certain people having vested interests about peace and security in Punjab”, adding that said “it will create an unnecessary sense of fear and insecurity among the people”.

Incidentally, while citing “current security scenario”, the officiating DGP Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota Thursday had directed all the border district senior superintendents of police to start night domination operations along the India-Pakistan international border from 9 pm to 4 am.

The DGP has asked border district SSPs to “give special attention to drones and suspicious persons moving in the vulnerable areas”. He also ordered SSPs to utilise all the Police Control Room and Rapid Rural Police Response vehicles and bullet proof material to cover vulnerable places besides activating all the control rooms.

After resigning as Punjab CM last month where he was replaced by Charanjit Singh Channi, Amarinder, while accusing his bête noire Navjot Singh Sidhu of “close personal relations with the Pakistani leadership”, had said that “amount of weapons and ammunition coming into Punjab from Pakistan was alarming”.

On Thursday, the former CM said he met NSA Ajit Doval as he had apprehensions that “misgovernance” in Punjab can give Pakistan an opportunity.

In a written statement, in which he did not name anyone but assured “all those critics, who have been raising concerns over the threat from Pakistan after the change of regime in the state”, Randhawa said, “Rest assured, Punjab is in safe hands and if and whenever needed, every sort of sacrifice will be offered.”

“While it is a fact that Pakistan and its intelligence agencies are always trying to create trouble in India and Punjab being the border state was at a greater risk, at the same time, Punjabis are prepared to thwart any challenge with all their courage and might. There is nothing new about this threat as it existed before as well and it will continue in future also,” Randhawa observed, while questioning, “What has changed within less than two weeks?”

He termed Punjab as the “sword arm of the country”.

Randhawa added that “just for political opposition, an alarmist position was being taken so as to create panic and fear among people”.

“Whom are you trying to help or benefit with such alarmist hue and cry?” he asked, while remarking that “facing the challenge is one thing and creating panic and alarm is something else”.

“Moreover”, Randhawa said, “What has changed just within a few days that barely a week ago, Punjab was absolutely safe and now it has turned unsafe, as was being suggested?”

He further said, “And if Punjab is really in danger or trouble right now, then the seeds of that trouble must have been sown much before, certainly not within a week’s time. What was done to nip that trouble in the bud?”

Surprise checking at police HQ

Accompanied by Sahota and other top Punjab Police officers, Randhawa conducted a surprise checking at Punjab Police headquarters in Chandigarh. While exempting absent officers/officials of any action this time, Randhawa said that “the motive behind this surprise check was to give better, efficient and citizen centric services to the people”.

Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi had directed all the government officers/employees at state/district/tehsil/block level to reach at their concerned offices by 9 am and remain available for the public till the office hours in the evening.

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