'Cong playing up Punjab militancy'

Party tried to distract public with FDI: SAD

Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Friday blamed the Congress for “intentionally raising the bogey of militancy” in Punjab ahead of the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls.

The Punjab deputy chief minister said the issue of revival of militancy in Punjab, raised by the Congress after an attack in London on Lt Gen (retd) K S Brar, who led the 1984 Operation Bluestar to flush out militants from the Golden Temple complex, was an attempt to distract attention from scams.

Talking to reporters in Nawanshahr, Badal said the Congress had earlier tried to distract the public by giving nod to foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

“The fact is that Gen Brar is a protectee of the Union home ministry and any attack on him reflects failure of the Union government to ensure protection of its own protectee,” he said.

Govt committed

Badal said the Punjab government was committed to maintaining peace and tranquillity in the state and would not allow Congress to vitiate the atmosphere.
He said the Punjab government had launched a drive in the past six years against militants and drug mafia.

He added that 184 militants had been arrested while five had surrendered due to pressure from the Punjab Police.Badal took a dig at the central government for recommending the release of Kishori Lal, convicted for the death of six Sikhs in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi.

He said his party make efforts to block the release of Kishori Lal and ensure punishment for all accused of the 1984 riots.

Meanwhile, protests against foreign direct investment in multi-brand retails have stepped up across Punjab, with farmers and traders taking to the streets in large numbers.

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