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Ludhiana jail clash: SAD seeks minister's sacking, probe by HC judge

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Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal Thursday demanded the immediate sacking of Punjab cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa after a violent clash at the Ludhiana Central Jail, which left at least one dead and 35 injured.
He also sought a probe into the incident by a sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
Expressing shock at the incident, the former deputy chief minister claimed that such a security lapse was unprecedented in the history of Punjab.
"Prisoners rebelled, used gas cylinders to conduct blasts and even chased and injured prison guards. This indicates a complete breakdown in the administration of jails in Punjab," he said in a statement here.
A clean-up exercise is needed and can only be done by sacking Jails Minister Sukhjinder Randhawa immediately, he added.
Pointing towards the murder of sacrilege accused Mohinderpal Nittu at the Nabha Maximum Security Jail last week, Badal said Randhawa had the "worst possible record" as the jails minister.
The SAD chief further said instead of realising his mistake and resigning immediately from his post, the minister was giving statements about the need for central forces in the state jails.
"This proves the minister has failed in his job completely and is searching for alibis. Chief Minister Amarinder Singh should sack him immediately," he said, adding that the situation was the result of the free run given to ministers to settle political scores over their opponents.
"Criminals have taken an advantage of this. Gang wars, dacoities and snatchings have increased manifold. Young children, including girls, are dying of drug overdose," he added.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader H S Cheema too sought Randhawa's resignation, alleging a complete breakdown of the law and order in the state.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh rejected the demand for the minister's resignation, saying the incident did not reflect on the law and order situation in Punjab as it was "among the best" in the country.
He said the Akali Dal and the Aam Admi Party had nothing constructive to say "except making illogical demands".
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has ordered a magisterial inquiry by the Ludhiana Deputy Commissioner into the incident, promising strict action against the culprits.

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First Published: Jun 27 2019 | 8:15 PM IST

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