Slamming the state government over its repeated denial of any serious security concerns, former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said there was something very wrong and dangerous happening at the borders, which the state could ill-afford to ignore.
He trashed allegations that the Border Security Force (BSF) would take over the state’s administration or will be deployed in Golden Temple etc and said such misconceptions were being spread by certain people to score brownie points in the run-up to the Assembly elections.
“The BSF is here to help maintain national security as we are a border state,” he said, calling for full support by the state to the Centre in the interest of national security.
Addressing a Press conference, Amarinder said he was not an alarmist but his 10 years of experience in the Army and 9.5 years as home minister of the state told him that “something is going to happen.”
“Yet a home minister who has been in his chair for one month claims to know more than me!” he quipped, taking a dig at Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa.
“Sleeper cells of Pak ISI and Khalistani forces are creating trouble, technology is becoming more advanced. The capacity and range of drones are increasing, first, they came in just five to six kilometers (kms) from the border, now they reach 31 km,” he pointed out. “We have to be very careful of the clandestine war from across the borders,” he added.
It was the duty of every responsible government to tackle such threats, Amarinder stressed, countering those who mock his concerns of national security. The state government, he said, should put the facts before the people and take their help in getting information instead of denying the danger. It should own up and take necessary action to combat the threat, he said, adding that even at the all-party meet held on the issue, it seems the political parties were not properly briefed.
While the Punjab Police was a first-class and well-trained force, they were, however, not trained to combat such threats, said the former CM, asserting that they need the help of BSF and CRPF to tackle the problem.
He pointed out that even in the days of terrorism, the Army was helping out and nobody took over the state government job. BSF’s assistance was essential to maintaining peace in Punjab, he said, adding that the state has been through tough times and nobody wants it to suffer again.