Ensure safety of BJP leaders: Punjab govt to district authorities

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Chandigarh, Mar 29 (PTI) The Punjab government has asked deputy commissioners and district police chiefs to ensure safety and security of BJP leaders during their scheduled programmes, a day after a party MLA was assaulted by a group of farmers protesting against the Centre's agri laws.

According to an order issued by the state home affairs department, additional personnel of the India Reserve Battalion, the Punjab Armed Police and commandos may be sought wherever required.

BJP MLA from Abohar in Fazilka district Arun Narang was allegedly thrashed and his clothes ripped off by a group of protesting farmers in Muktsar's Malout on Saturday. The BJP leader had gone to Malout to address a press conference.

'All DCs (Deputy Commissioners) and SSPs (Senior Superintendents of Police) are directed to personally ensure that such an incident does not happen anywhere in the state in future,' according to the order issued by the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) on Sunday.

'In view of the extremely surcharged atmosphere when such BJP programmes are scheduled in your districts, DCs, CPs (Commissioners of Police), and SSPs must ensure the maintenance of public order and communal harmony and ensure the safety and security of visiting BJP leaders,' it said.

After the Muktsar incident, the BJP had held protests at many places in the state against the attack on Narang.

Several Punjab BJP leaders had even staged a sit-in outside the official residence of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh here on Sunday.

Punjab Governor V P Singh Badnore too had condemned the attack on Narang and had sought a report from the Congress-led government in the state.

The governor had called up the Punjab Chief Minister, who holds the home portfolio, and conveyed his serious concern over the incident.

Several political parties had already condemned the incident.

BJP leaders in Punjab are facing the ire of farmers demanding the withdrawal of the Centre's three new agricultural laws for the last four months. The agitating farmers have even disrupted programmes of BJP leaders on a few occasions. PTI CHS VSD SMN SMN