Those opposing Johal's arrest are working against Punjab's interests: Amarinder
Those opposing Johal's arrest are working against Punjab's interests: Amarinder

Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Friday flayed the Opposition for raising doubts over the arrest of British citizen Jagtar Singh Johal in the targeted killing cases, accusing them of acting against Punjab’s interest by echoing the baseless statements of some foreign elements.

Reacting to statements by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on the issue, he termed their comments as unfortunate and not in the interest of Punjab and its people. By deciding to side with those who were conspiring to malign the Punjab police and government, these parties had exposed their total lack of interest in the welfare of the state, said the Chief Minister, in a statement issued here.

Describing all those opposing Jagtar’s arrest and seeking his release as working against the interests of India, particularly Punjab, Captain Amarinder said by making unfounded allegations against the Punjab government and police, such elements were trying to disturb the state’s peace and harmony. There was a well-planned conspiracy at work in this whole affair, he said, challenging such people to prove their allegations of human rights violation of the accused.

From being allowed to talk to his family to having consular access, and from his medical examinations to his timely production in court, the due process of law had been followed at every step from the moment of Jagtar’s arrest, according to Amarinder.

The Chief Minister said his government was more concerned about maintaining Punjab’s peace and stability rather than worrying about perceived embarrassment at the hands of foreign forces which had no stake in India’s security or development.

He pointed out that his government had already made public all the facts, as well as the mountain of evidence indicating Jagtar’s complicity in the cases. Jagtar alias Jaggi was arrested by the police on grave charges in major cases, based on strong evidence against him. And he was arrested only after his role in the conspiracy to kill RSS/Shiv Sena leaders/workers was confirmed on the basis of specific inputs about his linkages/involvement in these crimes.

Reiterating that the law will take its own course in the matter, Amarinder said the police had been following the due process of law in the matter all through, and would continue to do so. His government did not believe in incriminating innocent people in false cases, but would not, at any cost, allow anyone to destabilize Punjab by indulging in terrorist or criminal activities.

The whole issue was being sought to be politicized by certain pro-Khalistani elements and it was unfortunate that Punjab’s own leaders were adding their voice to these elements, the Chief Minister lamented. Radical elements based in Britain and some other countries had launched a false and slanderous orchestrated media campaign against the Punjab government/Punjab Police, he said.

In fact, Punjab Police officers have been receiving death threats targeted at them and their family members from such elements over phone, WhatsApp and various social media platforms.

He pointed out that none of the foreign governments that were reportedly decrying Jagtar’s arrest and alleging his torture had approached either his government or the Indian government on the issue. They had no face to do so, as all their allegations were totally baseless, with not an iota of proof to support them.

India had never interfered in other countries’ policing and legal matters, even if an Indian citizen were involved, and expected the same respect and diplomatic propriety to be followed by other nations, said Captain Amarinder.


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