FILE photo: Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal (left) with Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia
The ruling Shiromani Akali Dal is holding multiple protest rallies near the International Border against the Centre, demanding "greater vigilance along the border with Pakistan" to tackle the flow of narcotics into the state.
"Central agencies are responsible for guarding the border," said Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Sunday, referring to the Border Security Force, adding, "Punjab Police has seized huge quantities of heroin which could have travelled across country... we are fighting the nation's war... but instead of praise, we are being condemned." Mr Badal is one of the prominent speakers at a dharna
or sit-in in Attari along the Indo-Pak border. His brother-in-law and minister Bikram Singh Majithia, who was questioned by the Enforcement Directorate in
December in connection with a multi-crore international synthetic drugs racket busted last year, was also present.
are being viewed as the Akalis' counter-offensive to ally BJP which, along with the Opposition, has been demanding Mr Majithia's resignation over the drugs case. The 38-year-old faces allegations of having links with certain non-resident Indians (NRIs) who have been accused of international money laundering related to the drugs racket.
But Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has ruled out that demand.
Earlier, the chief minister had assured that all the rallies
would be 100 per cent peaceful.
But former Chief Minister and Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh claimed that the protests were aimed at pre-empting the anti-drugs rally being organised by BJP president Amit Shah in Amritsar on January 12.
"Whom are they trying to fool, as they are very much part of the central government under which the BSF falls," he said.
Apart from Attari, protests will also be held today near the Hussainiwala and Sadqi check points in Amritsar, Ferozepur and Fazilka border districts.