Punjab Congress chief urges EC to crack down on arms proliferation

In the wake of the shooting of a dancer in a marriage ceremony in Bathinda, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh on Monday urged the Election Commission to crack down "immediately on the proliferation of arms" in the state ahead of the Assembly elections.

In a letter to the Election Commission, he said the incident has once again highlighted the "total collapse of law and order in Punjab that is under control of armed gangs being patronised by the Badals".

Amarinder claimed no action has been taken against the 52 armed gangs that the "DGP himself had admitted were active in the state".

He claimed the "total and brazen lawlessness" prevailing in the state was continuously getting "exacerbated" as the Assembly elections drew closer.

On Saturday night a 22-year-old dancer was shot dead on stage allegedly by a drunk man after he was not allowed to dance with her troupe during the marriage function of a local commission agent's son in Punjab's Bathinda district.Even though the polls are just about two months away, authorities have not initiated any drive to get people to deposit their arms with the police.

"Criminals are moving freely across the state with all kinds of arms, which are being used to unleash a reign of terror against common people," Amarinder alleged.

He warned the perpetually deteriorating law and order situation threatens to disrupt the poll process that is likely to witness unprecedented violence.

Appealing to the Election Commission to immediately intervene and come down heavily on the "growing" gun culture before the elections, Amarinder claimed a free and fair election was no longer possible in the state.


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