LUDHIANA: In a clear case of defiance of the orders of the Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh sued on April 19 the Ludhiana senior superintendent of police Sidharath Chaitopadhaya has refused to provide CRPF security cover to the zonal manager or Punjab National Bank R.G. Puri Puri was provided CRPF security last year after two senior PNB managers were gunned down in Ludhiana by militants for their defiance of the militant dictate with regard to closing of banks on bandh days. Later some bank branches in rural areas were burnt and had to be permanently closed. It is worth mentioning that Punjab National Bank is the leading bank of the state and Puri is also convener of the state-level bankers committee and hence occupies a highly sensitive position

In his application to Beant Singh Puri had stated that senior executives of the bank often receive teats from the militants He wrote that in August last year A.C. Ghai deputy zonal manager and J.K. Bedi regional manager were brutally murdered a their residences by militants

In the wake of the gruesome incident which shook the banking circles in the stave a CRPF section was deputed to provide security to Puri Recently after the installation of a popular government in Punjab the CRF security provided to him has been withdrawn and replaced by some Punjab Police and home guard jawans.

The CRPF security is reported to have been withdrawn on the plea that the CRPF was required for more important duties.

Article extracted from this publication >> May 8, 1996