CHANDIGARH, OCTOBER 14: Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for their provocative and inflammatory actions, aimed at disturbing the state’s law and order, in the wake of the attack on Ashwani Sharma’s motorcade, for which the police has already identified several farmer union members as being responsible.
Slamming Sharma’s rabble-rousing statements and baseless accusations against the Punjab Congress, the Chief Minister said the BJP Punjab unit president seemed bent on spreading false propaganda to promote the interests of his party. These actions were clearly aimed at diverting the attention of the people from the farmers’ angst against the BJP over the Farm Laws, Capt Amarinder said.
The Chief Minister asserted that the people of Punjab, including the farmers, will not be misled by these irresponsible and instigatory statements and actions, which the BJP’s Punjab leadership was resorting to with total lack of concern about the possible aggravation of the Covid pandemic it could lead to in the state.
The farmers, said Captain Amarinder, were angry and anguished at the Farm Laws enacted by the BJP-led central government, and instead of empathising with them and conveying their pain to the high command, the BJP state leadership was trying to exploit the incident of 12th October to earn political brownie points. Contrary to the falsehoods Sharma was trying to spread, the state government had been taking all steps to ensure the security of the BJP leaders amid the Kisan protests, he added. After the incident of October 12, Ashwani Sharma’s security had been beefed up and a total of 16 Punjab Police security personnel, including Commandoes, are deployed with him currently, he added.
In fact, said the Chief Minister, all BJP leaders and office-bearers in the state had been provided adequate security for the past 8-10 days, since the farmers’ agitation gained momentum in the state. DGP Dinkar Gupta was personally in touch with Sharma and had also directed all district police chiefs to stay connected with BJP leaders for advance information about visits and programmes of BJP MP/MLAs/leaders so that adequate security arrangements can be made, he said.
Giving details of the incident of 12th October, the DGP said that at around 7 p.m, Sharma’s motorcade was confronted by around 25 protestors belonging to different Farmer’s Unions, and they suddenly came in front of his Pilot security escort vehicle and Innova vehicle, carrying black/yellow flags etc. and shouting slogans. These protestors had been picketing the Toll Plaza at Cholang on NH-1 for almost 2 weeks from Jalandhar to Jammu, according to DGP Dinkar Gupta.
The DGP further said after 15-18 seconds of protest, both the vehicles in the motorcade, which kept moving all the time, were allowed to go but one of the protestors hit and broke the rear windscreen of the Innova with a wooden flag stick. A side glass window of the Innova also got damaged in the process. More than 7 Personal Security officers, including Security Incharge ASI Hari Ram and 3 Punjab Police Commandoes, who were accompanying Sharma at the time of incident, immediately got off their vehicles and took the BJP Punjab chief safely away. He was escorted to Dasuya (Hoshiarpur) Police station where DSP Tanda and SSP Hoshiarpur joined him.
A criminal case under relevant sections of law has been registered against the protestors on the statement of ASI Hari Singh, PSO of Ashwani Sharma u/s 341, 427, 148, 149, 120 B IPC, 8 B of The National Highways Act 1956 and investigations are in progress.
The DGP further disclosed that Sharma had, in fact, planned a Party conclave of the senior BJP office bearers at Vijay Resorts, Jalandhar, on 12.10.20. Around 100 aggressive Kisan leaders and workers of different Kisan Unions from Jalandhar and Kapurthala suddenly gathered there and wanted to force their way into the venue. However, Jalandhar Police, who had received the information about the function the previous night, had made extensive arrangements and huge deployment of force after proper briefing. Proper barricading of the venue had also been done and alternative route had been planned too, which prevented any untoward incident.