Assault on Pannu wakeup call for people of Punjab, bureaucracy: Bajwa

CHANDIGARH: Partap Singh Bajwa President of Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) today said that assault on senior Punjab IAS officer Kahan Singh Pannu was a wakeup call for people of Punjab and the state bureaucracy to understand the sinister designs of SAD-BJP government.

In a statement here today Bajwa reiterated that attack on Pannu was a deep rooted conspiracy and warning to honest officers to fall in line with corrupt regime or get ready to face their wrath and public humiliation. He said that point of view of Congress party that it was a planned conspiracy was endorsed by Pannu himself. He said that now it was for state government to protect the honour and prestige of its officer.

He said that it was difficult to believe that any common man without political protection can dare to go to an extent of making murderous attempt on life of a senior officer. He said that this incident was a blot on the face of SAD-BJP government.

Bajwa said that SAD-BJP government had initially tried to bury the issue in a bid to shield the culprits and abettors of crime. He stated that the SAD-BJP government had swung into damage control exercise only after he questioned the silence of Chief Minister Parkash Singh on June 25. The video of the assault was uploaded on social media on June 24 and incident was reported to Chief Minister by Pannu same day. The state cabinet which met on evening of June 24 didn’t debate the issue and no action was proposed.

He said that it was regretful that Chief Minister issued statement at 7.40 PM on June 25 describing the incident deplorable but he didn’t order any probe into incident. He said that the IAS officers association also wrote to CM on June 25. The Chief Minister however ordered an inquiry on June 26 under public pressure, he added.

He said that it was surprising that Punjab government has a full-fledged department of disaster management but no officer from that department was sent to Uttarakhand. He asked Badal to specify the reasons for selecting Pannu for the job especially when he was busy in other important assignments.

Bajwa said that the person who uploaded the video on YouTube was close associate of Balbir Singh Sidhu SAD in charge of Talwandi Sabo who had joined SAD at the instance of Sikander Singh Maluka education minister. He said that the delay in ordering inquiry into incident brings the role of SAD-BJP government under scanner. He said that Pannu had not gone to Uttrakhand in individual capacity but he represented the state in rescue operations. He said that the complicity on part of government in taking action was as deplorable as the assault itself.

He said the assault on Pannu must prick the conscience of people of Punjab and the officers and shall not tolerate the lawlessness in Punjab. He said that SAD-BJP government had taken it for granted that their men would go Scot free even after committing heinous crimes.

He demanded immediate arrest of miscreants who attacked Pannu and investigate who were the abettors of crime.

Bajwa said that earlier Badal tried his best to protect Maluka in book scam and delayed to order an inquiry until public pressure was built on him.