(Eds: Combines related reports of House proceedings) Chandigarh, Feb 13 (PTI) The Ludhiana gang rape incident rocked the Punjab Assembly on Wednesday with opposition AAP and LIP trying to corner the Congress government over “deteriorating” law and order situation.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told the House he will take up the matter with the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High court for ensuring speedy justice.
The cane charge on protesting teachers, including women, by police in Patiala on Sunday also echoed in the Assembly with opposition AAP and SAD-BJP staging a walk out of the House after their adjournment motion on “police atrocity” on teachers were not allowed by the Speaker.
During Zero Hour on the second day of the Budget Session, AAP legislator from Jagraon Sarabjit Kaur Manuke raised the issue of Ludhiana gang rape incident and alleged that the law and order machinery had “completely failed” in the state.
She alleged that crime against women had been rising in the state.
Intervening in the matter, Dakha MLA H S Phoolka drew the attention of CM Amarinder Singh, asking him to adopt zero tolerance towards such a heinous crime.
While describing it as a “serious matter”, Phoolka, who had quit AAP last month, sought dismissal of police personnel who failed in performing his duty in connection with this incident. He also demanded that security in the area where the crime took place be beefed.
A 21-year-old woman was raped allegedly by 10 men near Issewal village on the banks of Sidwan canal, about 15 km from Ludhiana on Saturday, after the car she was travelling in with her friend was stopped and she was dragged out.
Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) MLA Simarjeet Singh Bains alleged that the law and order situation had failed in the state as the “horrendous” incident had taken place in Ludhiana which is often called “Manchester of India”.
The chief minister told the House that he would approach the Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court to seek his personal intervention to ensure speedy justice in such cases.
“I want to assure the House that I will meet Chief Justice personally and urge him to try all such cases in fast track court and it is to be taken up on day-to-basis to ensure justice,” Amarinder Singh informed the House.
He stressed the need for prompt dispensation of justice to the victims, besides exemplary punishment to the convicts in such dastardly acts as a deterrent for others.
He informed the House that out of the six accused, three had been arrested and remaining would be nabbed soon.
A court in Ludhiana on Wednesday remanded the three men, arrested in connection with the gang rape of the woman, for seven days in police custody even as the accused were manhandled by Akali Dal supporters.
Asserting that there was no law and order problem in the state, Amarinder challenged the opposition for a debate on the issue.
“My government is prepared for debate on law and order situation,” he said.
Earlier, during Zero Hour, AAP and SAD-BJP legislators sought adjournment motion to discuss lathicharge on protesting teachers in Patiala on Sunday.
Though the Speaker did not allow the adjournment motion, SAD-BJP members shouted slogans against the government and staged a noisy walk out of the House.
Lashing out at the Congress regime over cane charge of teachers, AAP legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan accused the Congress government of “following the footsteps of previous Akali-BJP regime” which had allegedly beaten up teachers.
Later, AAP legislators staged a walk out of the House. However, Phoolka and five rebel MLAs of the AAP, including Kanwar Sandhu, kept sitting in the House.
Police lathicharged a group of teachers, leaving many of them injured, when it was marching towards Amarinder Singh’s residence to protest against conditions for their regularization.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.