Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 22
While the Congress government is on the backfoot on the deaths of high-profile inmates in Punjab jails, the much-awaited deployment of paramilitary forces has been delayed for at least three months.
Three battalions of the CRPF were scheduled to be deployed in three jails at Amritsar, Bathinda and Patiala by mid-July, but the Centre has not dispatched them. Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa said the battalions were likely to be available after October 15. He said the Union Home Ministry had informed him that the battalions were on duty at the Amarnath yatra.
The Akalis and AAP have asked for a High Court-monitored probe into the deaths and immediate sacking of the Jails Minister for the lax security.
In a statement, former minister and SAD leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal said the death of Gurpinder Singh in Amritsar jail had raised several questions primarily because many accused involved in extremely sensitive cases were dying in Punjab jails.
Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition and AAP leader Harpal Cheema said Gurpinder’s death smacked of some conspiracy and was a clear case of destroying evidence. He claimed a gang of contract killers was active in the jail and the government needs to bust it as soon as possible.