Centre frets over restive Punjab; Pakistan ‘drones’ to gain heft   

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By Manish Anand

New Delhi, December 15: Lawlessness is now a new normal in Punjab. Along with killings of the people in the state, Punjab is now witnessing a rise of religious extremism. ‘Waris Punjab de’ is a new outfit headed by Amritpal Singh, hogging the limelight, with its theatrics as the group goes vandalizing Gurudwaras in the state.

The Centre, sources said, is a keeping a close eyes on the lawlessness, with assessment that the turn of the events is largely influenced by the external factors, including by the Pakistani intelligence and the radical elements from Canada. Former Punjab Chief Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Captain Amarinder Singh, who is widely known as a nationalist, is learnt to have apprised Prime Minister Narendra Modi of ‘disturbing turn of events’ in the state.

A series of high profile killings has taken place in Punjab in the last few months, which has sent shock waves among the people of the state. Sandeep Singh Nangal Ambian (March 14), Kabaddi player Dharmedra Singh (April 16), Subhdeep Singh Moosewala, gangster Deepak Tinu, drug smuggler Amrik Singh, and Shiv Sena leader Sudhir Suri were gunned down in Punjab in the recent months. A Dera Sacha Sauda follower was also killed for an alleged sacrilege. A poor migrant, who was visibly suffering from hunger, was lynched to death for alleged sacrilege. Last week, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann called on Union Minister for Home Affairs Amit Shah to seek approval of the Centre for a tough law against sacrilege.

“There is an air of insecurity in Punjab. Some of the killings has taken place in broad daylight. The victims were gunned down in close vicinity of police stations. The college campuses are witnessing visible signs of radical elements. Even the academic staff is scared as there radical students among the students,” said a senior Punjab University academician about the state of the affairs in the state.

The Border Security Force (BSF) is routinely shooting down drones flying into the Indian Territory from Pakistan side. The intelligence officials claimed that Pakistan is supplying drugs, arms and money through drones to encourage radical elements to destabilize Punjab once more. Captain has apprised Prime Minister and Home Minister of the grave situations prevailing in Punjab, sources said.

It may be recalled that Punjab had plunged into more than a decade of insurgency following the rise of radical elements. In just one decade, mid 1980s to mid 1990s, more than 35,000 people were gunned down in Punjab at the peak of the insurgency.

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