The Punjab Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday demanded deployment of armed forces to prevent any untoward incident on 23 February, when Haryana's Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) plans to re-dig the Satluj Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on Punjab border.
Capt Amarinder demanded preventive arrest of INLD leader Abhay Chautala and cancellation of party supremo Om Prakash Chautala’s parole to control the situation. “Abhay’s adamant stand on the issue, and his defiant threat to go ahead with the SYL incursion, even if the Army is called in, is ground enough for his preventive detention,” said Capt. The Punjab Congress chief ministerial candidate further called upon the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to intervene in the issue.
He further said that the Central government should also immediately step in to order large-scale deployment of the armed forces ahead of the threatened move by the INLD. He alleged that Abhay Chautala’s defiant and provocative statements on the issue could have a long-term, explosive impact on Punjab’s peace.
Warning the Centre against inaction in the matter, Capt Amarinder claimed that the consequences of failure to take preventive action would not only plunge Punjab back into the dark days of terrorism but would also have dangerous repercussions for the nation. “Being a sensitive border state, Punjab could not be left to its own devices to handle the current volatile situation, particularly in the light of the fact that the state was in post-poll limbo, still awaiting the outcome of the assembly elections with no government worth the name at the helm to protect its interests,” he said.