From Our Special Correspondent

Chandigarh: The Chief Minister S. Surjit Singh Barnala and his cabinet colleagues are quite worried about the increasing incidence of violence in the State. The Chief Minister convened a special meeting of the Deputy Commissioners and Senior Superintendents of Police at Ludhiana on October 20 to take stock of the deteriorating law and order situation. He warned the officers that he would hold the concerned officer personally responsible for any act of violence in his jurisdiction. In this meeting, murders of Congress (I) leaders at various places in Punjab were particularly discussed. These include the murders of Mr. Rain Lubhaya, President, Tarn Taran Municipal Committee; Mr. Raj Pal Congress (I) General Secretary of Fatehgarh Churian and of Mr. Vijay Kirmal a Congress (I) leader of Ferozepur. On the night of 20th two leaders were shot dead near Jammu by unknown assailants.

Curiously the Chief Minister has so far made no significant changes in the Home and Police departments and at the District level same officers are functioning as were appointed by the previous congress government. Political circles are surprised at the delay in appointing officers loyal to the new government as the Congress (J) appointed officers, it is felt, are not likely to extend full cooperation to the new rulers. These circles also argue as to how Barnala can succeed by depending upon the Congress (I) appointed officers.

Chief Minister is likely to tour all those places where incidents of violence have occurred.

Article extracted from this publication >>  October 25, 1985