Rajat Sharma

Bhagwant Mann must stop mockery with the lives of Hindu leaders

AKB30 In a worrying development, Punjab Police has advised three Hindu leaders, Amit Arora, Yogesh Bakshi and Nishant Sharma not to move out of their homes in view of threats to their life. Police have also advised them to change their phone numbers. Policemen have gone to the homes of these leaders and have given them free bulletproof jackets for protection.

Hindu leaders in Punjab have been frequently getting threatening calls from Canada and Pakistan. Earlier, Punjab Police used to take these threats lightly, but after the murder of Shiv Sena (Taksali) president Sudhir Suri on November 4, police has sprung into action. Sudhir Suri was given ‘Y’ category security, and at the time of murder, his security guards were present. Police have now advised most of the Hindu leaders not to move out in public places.

Shiv Sena Hind president Nishant Sharma told India TV that he has got several threatening calls after Sudhir Suri’s murder, and has lodged a complaint in Kharar police station of Mohali. When India TV correspondent Puneet Parinja was speaking to Nishant Sharma, he got a threatening telephone call from an unknown person. The man told Sharma “tell your family to remain prepared, because you will also go. Even Sudhir Suri used to say, nobody can kill him, but we shot him in the chest. We know you will come with your gunman.”

Another Punjab Hindu leader Amit Arora is on the radar of terrorists. He says, “I got threatening calls from Canada-based Sikh For Justice outfit several times, and Punjab Police has given me a bulletproof jacket. What will I do with this jacket? Sudhir Suri had securitymen with him, yet he was murdered. What we want is, Punjab government must take quick action against pro-Khalistan outfits.”

The fears of Hindu leaders are justified. Another Hindu leader Neeraj Bhardwaj said “these bulletproof jackets have been given not for security, but for police to shirk responsibility.”

Punjab Police officials say, no gangster connection has yet been found behind Sudhir Suri’s murder, despite the fact that Canada-based gangster Lakhbir Singh alias Landa Harike had claimed responsibility. Police says, Landa has claimed responsibility only to “spread fear” for running his extortion racket. Police officials say, Suri’s murder is apparently a “hate crime” because no gangster connection has been found after interrogation of Sandeep Singh alias Sunny, who was arrested for killing Suri. The murderer Sunny is in police remand for seven days.

The fact is: Punjab Police during the last year and a half has found the involvement of gangster Lakhbir Singh Landa and Pakistan-based terrorist Harwinder Singh Rinda’s module behind major crimes, which includes RPG attack on Punjab Police Intelligence headquarters in Mohali. Recently a video surfaced in which Gopal Singh Chawla, who is living in Pakistan under ISI protection, congratulated the killer of Suri and threatened to kill Amit Arora, Nishant Sharma and farmer leader Gursimran Singh Mand.

Hindu leaders do not agree with Punjab Police’s claims. Hindu leader Amit Arora says, “I survived an attack in 2016. In 2020, I survived another terror attack. Punjab police is not paying heed to the threats. Sudhir Suri was murdered in broad daylight. Hindu leaders are getting threats daily. Pakistan-based terrorist Gopal Singh Chawla is issuing threats against me and two other leaders. …I have received thousands of calls. I am not picking up calls because of threats, and yet, the government is sleeping. Punjab government must say whether Hindus can live peacefully in Punjab or not.”

While some people are looking at this as attempts to create Hindu-Sikh divide, the silver lining in the cloud is that Hindu leaders think nobody can create such a divide. Hindu leaders say, Hindus and Sikhs are two sons of a great mother, but they are unhappy because Punjab government is showing complete apathy in tackling pro-Khalistan supporters.

I feel, Punjab Police’s approach to this issue is quite strange. A Hindu leader was gunned down in the presence of police, and now police finds itself so helpless that it is advising Hindu leaders not to come out of their homes. It is offering bulletproof jackets to them. Police responsibility does not end with this. Has Punjab Police left Hindu leaders to their fate?

Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann must answer these questions. He must explain where police responsibility begins and where it ends. Or, will he say, paste picture of Lord Hanuman on bulletproof jacket and Bajrangbali will protect you? Such a mockery with the lives of Hindu leaders in Punjab must end.

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