Amid spate of murders, Punjab on high alert for Blue Star Anniversary

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann. ANI

On the eve of Operation Blue star, the Punjab Police have been put on high alert, the government said in a statement on Sunday. Central paramilitary forces have been deployed to assist the state police in maintaining peace in Punjab. The statement came after a high-level meeting of senior officers of the police force and civil administration was held here by Chief Minister Bhagwant

Mann to review the law and order situation in the state ahead of ‘Ghallugara Diwas’. The chief minister is also learned to have reviewed the security arrangements for June 6.

“The state government is committed to making Punjab a peaceful and frontrunner state in the country,” said Mann categorically in the statement. The chief minister added, “Anybody trying to disturb the peace will be dealt with sternly. Some forces inimical to the progress and prosperity of the state are making constant attempts to derail the peace in the state. His government will not allow any such nefarious move to succeed.” Mann also exhorted Punjabis to uphold the ethos of peace, communal harmony, and brotherhood in the state.

However, certain steps taken by the Punjab Police have not gone down well with political parties, who think the government has created unnecessarily hype around the anniversary of Operation Blue Star, with police visiting some political leaders. This has never happened ever before.

One such leader is Punjab Lok Congress National spokesperson Pritpal Singh Baliawal, who has been visited thrice by the state police on the eve of the anniversary. Pritpal Singh Baliawal stated in his tweet, “We strongly condemn this shameful tactic by @AAPPunjabgovt to curb the voice of the opposition! A team of @PunjabPoliceInd visited our Spokesperson @PritpalBaliawal’s house 3 times since this morning, under the pretext of enquiring about his plan for 6th June, but in reality, they just wanted to intimidate him to not raise his voice against the failures of the @BhagwantMann government. You can try as hard as you like but cannot silence us. We will continue to expose your so-called Badlav!”

Speaking to The Daily Guardian, Baliawal said, “I have been in Government, I don’t remember that during the Blue Star Anniversary the government has to release a peace appeal press release. People do not get know when Blue Star Anniversary passed. Yes, alert used to be there but this time the kind of fear and hype is created in the name of this anniversary, it seems all planned. Moreover, after the VVIP security document was released intentionally by AAP social media manager, it is proved that the ruling government wish disturbance in Punjab.”

After the list of VVIPs, whose security was withdrawn or toned down, was leaked to the public, Punjab has seen a spate of murders. So far 13 murders have been reported after Sidhu Moosewala was killed on May 29.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal shared on his tweeter handle, “29 May: Brutal murder of #SidhuMoosewala. 30 May: Woman-daughter hacked to death in Patiala, 1 June: Bus dacoity near Ldh, 3 June: Boy hacked to death in Badhni Kalan market, 5 June: Man found beheaded near Ahmedgarh, No one is safe in Punjab anymore. @BhagwantMann failed miserably.”