By Jagtar Singh-
CHANDIGARH: The deteriorating law and order situation as reflected in the broad day light killing of Assistant Sub-Inspector Ravinder Pal Singh in Amritsar by an Akali Dal leader betrays the total failure of the policing system that was introduced by the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP government during its last tenure by making the local police officials subservient to the local Akali leaders. Under the present system that was brought in informally, the local police officials look to the Akali leaders for directions. It is also the reflection of the lack of control of the senior police officials over their juniors.
Ravinder Pal was gunned down by Akali Dal office bearer Ranjit Singh Rana near Chheharta police station while trying to defend the honour of her daughter. He was in uniform. The daughter had complained to her father that Rana had been harassing him.
What is matter of concern is that this is not an isolated incident. The incodent of abduction of a minor girl in Faridkot is still in the memory of the people. Nishan Singh, the accused in that case who is now behind the bars, was also associated with a front organisation of the Akali Dal and used to be seen with the senior Akali leaders on stages.
In Chheherta, the police arrived on the scene much later. During the interregnum, the accused, who had emptied his revolver while firing at Ravinder Pal, went to his home and returned within ten minutes with a rifle to kill the injured police official. The Sadar police wasted precious time despite the fact that the victim was their own colleague, though posted at another police station in the district.
According to the information reaching here from the field, the problem was the police now are that even for writing simple complaints, the local officials seek directions from the Akali leaders. In the constituencies where the Akali Dal lost, the party has appointed Ilaqa incharge, a system that has come from strong condemnation from the Congress.
What is all the more important is that it is the Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbitr Singh Badal who happens to be the Home Minister. In case of the Faridkot incident, the police came into action after several days and then too, the effort was to protect the girl by portraying it as a case of elopement. Now the minor girl has publicly given out as tyo what happened.
Significantly, it is Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal who had to intervene by issuing a statement today on the Amritsar incident. Sources maintain that he was not happy even with the handling of the situation at Faridkot, the constituency once represented in the Lok Sabha by Sukhbir himself. The Badals have been avoiding Faridkot city, such is the hostility towards them among the common people who had to agitate for long demanding recovery of the girl and action against the guilty.
Akali Dal is no more ideology based as the party used to be at one time. Over the years, the basic character of the party has undergone a change. Sukhbir, in his capacity as the Akali Dal chief, has put in place his own organizational set up personally loyal to him. The traditional Akali leaders feel ignored.
Incidentally, Public Relations Minister Bikram Singh Majitha said the accused in this case did not belong to the Yoiuth Akali Dal but the Shiromani Akali Dal.
It is not just the new system of governance that has come under question. Even the appointment of the Director General of Police is under the scrutiny of the court.
The party might have to pay heavy cost in case the present situation prevails till the Lok Sabha election.