Appealing to gangsters still active in the state to shun the path of violence, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday rejected allegations of a fake encounter against gangster Vicky Gounder and his associates.

The families of the three gangsters who were killed by the police on Saturday had alleged that it was a fake encounter. The CM said these allegations were the result of a sense of grief on the part of the families.

While the death of the gangsters was not a cause for celebration, such criminals should realise that nobody was above the law, nor could they escape the law for long, said the CM in response to media queries at the Newspapers Photographic Exhibition (Newsscapes-5) prize distribution function, organised by Chandigarh Press Club, at Punjab Kala Bhawan.

Amarinder pointed out that since the Congress government took over, 47 per cent of A category gangsters and 42 per cent of B category had either surrendered or been arrested, as a result of the concerted police crackdown against them. Asserting that the police would continue to pursue the gangsters who were still at large in the state, the CM said these criminals should realise this was the end of the road for them and they could not evade the law any longer.

However, he made it clear that though the gangsters would have to meet their fate under the law, the government would, at the same time, make all efforts for their eventual rehabilitation.
In response to another question, the CM said a cabinet expansion would be undertaken after the Ludhiana elections. The selection would once again be based on merit, he added. On the death of a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) in Jaitu during firing in the air at a students’ dharna this morning, the CM termed the incident as unfortunate and assured a full investigation.