The Punjab Government has ordered a security clampdown across the state as a precautionary measure in view of Monday’s bandh, with the Army and Paramilitary forces asked to be on alert, and all educational institutions and banks to remain closed.
While mobile internet services in the state were suspended from 5.00 pm on Sunday till Monday evening in a bid to check rumour mongering on the social media, all public and private transport will remain suspended during the bandh to prevent any untoward incident, an official spokesperson said.
The orders were issued after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh reviewed the security arrangements with top police and administrative officials here on Sunday evening. The review was followed by a video conference by the Chief Secretary with the Deputy Commissioners and other senior officials of all the districts.
Giving details of the precautionary measures taken by the government, the spokesperson said four battalions of RAF and 4 of BSF, along with 12000 additional police personnel will remain on duty tomorrow to maintain law and order.
PRTC, Punjab Roadways and PunBus, as well as buses run by private operators, would not ply on the roads through the bandh duration, the spokesperson added.
According to an order issued by the DPI (Colleges), all the educational institutions, including the government colleges, government aided colleges, private colleges, state and private universities, will remain closed tomorrow on April 2, 2018, as a precautionary measure, in view of the bandh call given by some organizations. Likewise, all the government, non-government/private aided, aided and recognized schools would also remain closed tomorrow.
The final practical examinations of Class X and XII of Punjab School Education Board, which were scheduled to be held tomorrow, will now be held on April 11, as per the directives issued by the Education Department.
While issuing strict orders to police and security forces to deal with any attempt to disturb the peace and harmony in the state with an iron hand, the Chief Minister reiterated his appeal to the organisations, that have called the bandh in protest against the dilution of the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, not to obstruct transport movement in the state or cause any harassment to commuters.
The armed forces, as well as the paramilitary, will be on standby to render any assistance as needed, said the spokesperson, adding that the Chief Minister had directed the police to crack down against anyone found trying to disrupt the peace and harmony in the state.
The Chief Minister, however, urged the protestors not to take the law in their own hands and, in particular, not to impede transport movement in any way. With Punjab a key route for transportation of essential provisions to the armed forces at the borders, any disruption on the highways could seriously hamper the supply of the necessary supplies, he said.
Captain Amarinder Singh also appealed to the protestors to ensure that the mortal remains of the Iraq victims, that are expected to arrive in Amritsar tomorrow, are allowed to be transported to their native villages without any impediment. He also directed the Punjab Police to provide strict security for the same along the routes, from the airport to the respective native villages of the victims.
Noting that the Government of India had already announced its decision to file a review petition against the Supreme Court verdict, the Chief Minister said the SC/ST community should defer its protest till the final decision on the petition comes.
Meanwhile, the Department of Home Affairs, Justice and Jails has issued a notification, in pursuance of the provisions of the sub clause 1, 2 and 3 of clause 6 of the Punjab Jail manual, the Punjab Government, authorizing all the District Magistrates in the state to declare any place to be a Special Jail under the Punjab Jail Manual in view of the bandh call.
The District Magistrate shall, while using this authorization, ensure compliance of all provisions of the Prisons Act 1894 and Jail Manual Punjab through Superintendent of Jail of their respective District. Necessary arrangements would be made by the District Magistrates in consultation with the concerned Departments as well as the Superintendents of Jail within their District, as per the orders.
The government has also appointed Special Executive Magistrates for the maintenance of law and order, up to April 3, 2018, in their respective districts under section 21 of the CrPC.
The Technical Education and Industrial Training Minister, Punjab, Mr. Charanjit Singh Channi has held badal family directly responsible for the death of late Panth Rattan Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra. The minister was paying homage to Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra in a state level function organized by Punjab Government at the anaj mandi in village tohra during the 14th death anniversary of the departed leader.
Airing his views regarding demise of Jathedar Tohra, Mr. Channi said that Parkash Singh Badal levelled false allegations against jathedar tohra for serving his own personal interests and removed him from the Presidentship of the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC) the result being that jathedar tohra could not tolerate these baseless and false allegations which lead to his demise.
Calling President of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) Sukhbir Singh Badal as the one deviated from the path of Guru Sahiban, Mr. Channi demanded from the Jathedar of Akal Takht Sahib that Sukhbir Singh Badal be declared a tankhahiya and summoned at Sri Akal Takht Sahib because Sukhbir Singh Badal had forsaken the ideals of guru sahiban after partaking Amrit at Sri Kesgarh Sahib.
The minister also demanded the resignation of Sukhbir Singh Badal from the Presidentship of SAD because every leader serving as the President of this panthic organization has worn all the 5 Kakars (Articles of Faith) bestowed by the Guru. The minister further said that had jathedar tohra been alive today then Sukhbir Singh Badal wouldn’t have become the President of SAD. So, Sukhbir Singh Badal has no moral right to continue as the President of SAD.
Mr. Channi also said that today in the function held to commemorate jathedar tohra the leaders of all other parties came but the very party for whom jathedar tohra dedicated his entire life didn’t deem it fit to mark their presence. He also said that whether or not SAD remembers jathedar tohra but the entire sikh panth would forever remain indebted to jathedar tohra. Calling jathedar tohra an exceptional personality, Mr. Channi said that he (jathedar tohra) always fought for the just rights of Punjab with the Union Government and always lead from the front.