CHANDIGARH, India: J.F. Ribeiro, Director General of Punjab Police, apologized to the people for the accesses com mitted by the C.R.P.F. in Brahampura village of Amritsar district and said that stern action would be taken against the officials found guilty.

Ribeiro told the press conference that a preliminary enquiry had shown that C.R.P.F. personnel did beat up certain villagers and misbehaved with a young girl. These were unpardonable acts as the disciplined force was not supposed to behave in this manner, whatever the provocation.

He, however, clarified that two I.G.s who have conducted the enquiry have not yet submitted

their report. But the information reaching him has shown that copy of Guru Granth Sahib was not burnt and a bullet did not hit another copy. A Punjab police official who restored the holy scripture next morning did not find any bullet mark on the Holy Granth Sahib. This might have been done later to malign the force, he added.

“The C.R.P.F.” he said “was a highly disciplined force with a secular outlook. The officer under whose command the men misbehaved was a highly competent man who had done excellent » work. The force was working under very difficult conditions and had been provoked by the freedom fighters. The officer and his men must take the punishment if they have done anything wrong”.

 He rejected the demand of Akali Dal (B) for the withdrawal of C.R.P.F. from the state and said that force did not come to Punjab on its own. It was here on the state government’s demand. Let these leaders fight violence by creating public opinion against it so that C.R.P.F. was not needed.

Ribeiro admitted that there has been escalation in freedom fighters’ actions in the previous year. Violence had claimed 429 lives during the year, out of them, 193 were Sikhs, 224 Hindus and three others. 63 freedom fighters were killed during 1985.

Article extracted from this publication >>  January 9, 1987