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Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today denied opposition charge that cases of sacrilege and other crimes have increased under the Congress government in the state. Amarinder, who was speaking in the Assembly during the ongoing budget session, said there have been only 13 sacrilege incidents in the last three months, and out of these, "12 have been traced and the culprits are being prosecuted to bring them to justice". Contrary, he said, 154 cases of sacrilege were committed in the previous government, of which only 86 have been solved. The Chief Minister said his government would not "tolerate" sacrilege and disrespect of any religion. Saying that he has data to "prove complete breakdown" of law and order under the erstwhile SAD-BJP regime, Amarinder asserted that his government was committed to "eliminate the criminal gangs that had mushroomed during the 10 years of the previous regime". "There would be no complacency in this regard even though these gangs had become dormant in the last three months," he said. "I would like to make it clear to all these criminals not to disturb the hard earned peace in the state, failing which they would be dealt with extreme action," Amarinder said. The Chief Minister assured that the police personnel of all departments will continue "to get 13 months of pay". He pointed out that the halqa system introduced by the previous government was one of the major reasons for "demoralisation and deficient police performance", and said it was abolished by his government. "In addition, the jurisdiction of 278 police stations in the state has been changed and 78 police sub divisions are now being made coterminous with revenue sub divisions, to make administration more coordinated and efficient," he added.
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