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Punjab Govt refutes allegations regarding deterioration of law and order; CS writes to Centre

Chandigarh, Feb 21 2024 (Yes Punjab News)

Asserting that the ongoing agitation of farmers has been handled in a very apt and diligent manner in the state, the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Mr Bhagwant Singh Mann has strongly refuted the allegations that the law and order position in the State has deteriorated.

On the directions of Chief Minister S Bhagwant Singh Mann, Chief Secretary Mr. Anurag Verma has written a letter to the Secretary Ministry of Home Affairs Government of India, saying that it is incorrect to state that the Government of Punjab has allowed a gathering of a large number of persons at the borders of Shambhu and Dhabi-Gujran as 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 State police of Haryana.

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

However, he said that it must be stated that the gathering of farmers in the jurisdiction of Punjab has remained largely peaceful and no untoward incident of much relevance has been reported.

Mr. Anurag Verma said that this is apart from the injuries which have been sustained by about 160 persons 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 crowds gathered in an orderly fashion.

He said that regular parleys are on between the State Officials and the Farm Leaders for dispersal of crowds at the border.

He said that there is no specific information of miscreants/law breakers in the guise of protestors which is available with the police in a definite form.

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

He said that it is pertinent to point out here that all the demands in respect of which the protest was being planned by the Farm Unions are in respect of measures to be taken by the Government of India.

He said that the Government of India in its effort to have negotiations with the Farm Unions has held four meetings in which the Union Ministers along with officials were present.

The Chief Secretary said that these meetings have not only been facilitated by the State of Punjab but on three occasions, the Chief Minister has attended the meetings in person along with the 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 concerned Departments was deputed to attend and assist the Union Ministers in the meeting.

Mr Anurag Verma requested the Government of India to consider the demands of farm unions more sympathetically so that the issue has been resolved amicably.

The Chief Secretary said that it is a fact that the Farm Unions that are actually protesting are clear from the fact that they have been invited and have held meetings with the Union Ministers in the presence of the State Government representative to defuse the situation arising from the protest.

He said that the State of 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.

He said that the entire police force has been sensitized to the situation and as of now the situation is under control.

The Chief Secretary said that the reliance placed upon Media Reports is thus misplaced as an adequate police force with DIG rank I.P.S. and P.P.S. Officers alongwith 2,000 strong police personnel have been deputed to keep the situation peaceful and under control.

The situation is being constantly reviewed at the highest level and stringent action when required will be taken to curb any disrupting activity, he added.

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