DGP Dinkar Gupta has apologised for Kartarpur remarks, Punjab CM tells assembly
Capt Amarinder Singh defends police chief, saying “anybody can make a mistake”; expresses his govt’s commitment to keep Kartarpur Corridor open
CHANDIGARH: Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday informed the state assembly that the director general of police, Dinkar Gupta, has tendered an apology for his purported remarks made in connection with the Kartarpur Corridor.
“The DGP has tendered an apology,” Capt Amarinder said on the floor of the House and added, “Anybody can make a mistake.”
The chief minister lashed out at Pakistan, claiming that its spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, had an objective to disturb peace in Punjab. “We have to be on our toes,” he said.
He expressed commitment of his government that the Kartarpur Corridor will not be allowed to be shut.
The chief minister gave details about the busting of several terror modules and the recovery of arms and ammunition over the past few months.
OPPN AAP, AKALI MEMBERS WALK OUT
DGP Gupta has been facing the ire of the opposition parties for his purported statement on the Kartarpur Corridor. The Aam Aadmi Party and Shiromani Akali Dal have been gunning for Gupta after he told a daily last week that “Kartarpur offers a potential that you send somebody in the morning as an ordinary chap and by the evening he comes back as a trained terrorist. You are there for six hours, you can be taken to a firing range, you can be taught to make an IED.”
The DGP also reportedly said some elements based in the neighbouring country were “trying to woo pilgrims and making overtures to them”. However, Gupta on Sunday said in case any remark made by him inadvertently has caused any hurt to people of the state, he expresses his “sincere regret”.
The DGP had on Saturday said that he was being “misunderstood or wilfully misconstrued” as his remarks strictly pertained to the security and safety of Punjab and India.
The opposition MLAs were, however, not satisfied and walked out of the House, demanding his dismissal. They created a ruckus in the assembly over the issue on Monday, too, forcing four adjournments.
CAPT TO ASHU’S RESCUE
Akali members, led by former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, also demanded the removal of food and civil supplies minister Bharat Bhushan Ashu.
Capt Amarinder sought to downplay the controversy surrounding Ashu after a suspended police officer recently alleged that he harboured two Khalistani militants 28 years ago. The chief minister said that Ashu had been acquitted in the case.
However, Akali leaders marched to the well of the House, raising anti-government slogans and demanding Ashu’s dismissal before walking out.
‘KEEP WORD TO YOUTH, STAFF’
Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, led by leader of opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, held a protest outside the assembly, demanding the Congress government fulfil its promises to youngsters and government employees.
“The state government has not fulfilled its promises made to youngsters for giving them employment. The Ghar Ghar Rozgar Yojana scheme has failed,” Cheema alleged.
He accused the state government of having failed to pay arrears and dearness allowance to employees. “Why is the state government sleeping and not keeping its promises?” Cheema asked as his party members raised slogans.