Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a probe into media reports of an alleged nexus between gangsters and politicians in the state. He also promised "stern action" against any politician found to be allying with gangsters, but expressed "full confidence" in his cabinet members.
The chief minister directed state police chief Dinkar Gupta to inquire into the "allegations as made out from the documents/photos" that have been submitted to him, and which "prove to the contrary" of the allegations made by opposition parties.
The photographs show a notorious criminal, who has many cases pending against him and has links with a known gangster, with top Akali leaders, said an official spokesperson, in a statement here on Saturday. The chief minister made it clear that "no one encouraging unlawful activities in the state will be spared and stern action, whatever warranted as per law, shall be taken".
"I have no doubt that none of my colleagues are involved in any such nefarious activities," Amarinder Singh further said, in response to the allegations levelled by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and its ally BJP, who have targeted Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa over the past few days in the wake of the murder of former Akali sarpanch Dalbir Dhilwan.
Terming the allegation as false and baseless, Mr Randhawa himself has challenged the Akali leaders, saying he is ready for probe by any independent agency or a sitting judge. It was the Akalis whose patronage of gangsters and jail mismanagement had destroyed the system, a spokesperson quoted him as saying.
On Saturday, upping the ante for action against accused in the Akali leader Dalbir Singh Dhilwan murder case, a large number of SAD activists led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal held a four-hour-long protest outside Batala Senior Superintendent of Police's office in Batala.
Dalbir Singh Dhilwan was a two-time village head and the vice president of the Batala unit of SAD.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal had earlier written to the National Human Right Commission, alleging that Mr Randhawa was behind the murder. Former Minister Bikram Singh Majithia linked the murder with gangster Jaggu Bhagwanpuria, alleging that the latter acted at Mr Randhawa's behest.