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SAD blames Punjab CM for death of young farmer, holding 'Rangla Punjab' at this juncture is disgraceful

AMRIK SINGH | February 22, 2024 06:47 PM

CHANDIGARH: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today held chief minister Bhagwant Mann directly responsible for the death of youth farmer Shubhkaran Singh and demanded a case be registered against him besides calling for his immediate resignation.

Addressing a press conference here, senior SAD leaders Bikram Singh Majithia and Dr Daljit Singh Cheema accused the chief minister of acting as a tout of the Haryana government as well as the centre and said his failure to register a case against Haryana Police personnel when they attacked farmers in Punjab territory on February 13 had led to the killing of Shubhkaran yesterday”.

Asserting that the SAD would not let the chief minister cover his tracks with statements to the effect that farmers should be allowed to go to Delhi, the leaders said “if Mr Bhagwant Mann was of this view then why did he let the Haryana Police erect concrete barricades in Punjab territory? Why didn’t he object to the economic blockade of Punjab? Why didn’t he take a strong stance in the meetings with union ministers?”

Asking the chief minister to disclose why he had not approached or met the union home minister or the prime minister on this grave issue, Mr Majithia and Dr Cheema said “now it is clear Mr Bhagwant Mann did not do so because it is his plan which is being implemented through the Haryana government”. The leaders said if this was not so the chief minister would have given directions to the State DGP to open the borders or approached the Supreme Court to get the borders opened. “So it is the chief minister who is responsible for the present day crisis under which Punjab has been cut off from country”.

The leaders said it was reprehensible that while all this was happening, the chief minister had announced a gala week-long programme by the name of Rangla Punjab at a cost of Rs 55 crore to the State exchequer. They appealed to the artists who had been invited to the event to boycott the same as the AAP government had turned the State into a ‘Khooni Punjab’.

Mr Majithia and Dr Cheema also appealed to all political parties except the AAP and farm unions and social organizations to unitedly discuss the current crisis as well as express solidarity with the cause of the farming community.

They also demanded the AAP government pass a bill in the forthcoming assembly session to pave the way for State procurement of all crops on MSP in Punjab. They said the chief minister had made this promise before taking over the reins of the State and should fulfill the same now.

The SAD leaders also called for an immediate end to human rights violations on the borders of Punjab at Shambu and Khanauri. They said there were disturbing reports that ten to twelve farmers were missing and that several others had been injured. “There should be transparency in reporting such incidents on behalf of the government”, the leaders said while citing how the AAP government took more than six hours to confirm the death of Shubhkaran”. They also rued how the AAP government was presiding over the complete collapse of law or order in Punjab adding “Mr Bhagwant Mann is solely responsible for this as he is behaving like a tout and not as chief minister”.

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