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Punjab CM vows not to spare anyone guilty for Bargari carnage

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Bathinda, Jan 28 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday vowed not to spare anyone found guilty of the Bargari carnage, whether a politician or a police officer, irrespective of their position or high office.

Slamming the Akalis for failing to bring the culprits to book and not accepting the recommendations of its own commission set up to probe the incident, the Chief Minister said the investigations of the special investigative team (SIT) set up by his government would reach their logical conclusion soon.

The Chief Minister’s assertions came a day after a former police officer was arrested in connection with the 2015 Behbal Kalan police firing in Faridkot which claimed the lives of two persons. The firing incident is linked to the Bargari carnage.

Charanjit Singh Sharma was arrested by the SIT from his residence in Hoshiarpur, around 150 km from Chandigarh.

The Chief Minister said he would personally ensure that nobody found responsible for the horrendous incident is allowed to go free.

Pointing out that one senior police officer implicated in the case had already been arrested, the Chief Minister said it was obvious that the officer in question must have been following orders, and the SIT would identify those who issued the orders.

"They will not be spared at any cost," he said.

The Chief Minister, who was in Mehraj near here to disburse Rs. 97 crore as relief to 18,308 small farmers from Bathinda and Mansa districts against debt from cooperative banks, handed over debt relief certificates to 10 farmers each from the two districts as a token of the disbursement.

He also lambasted the previous SAD-BJP government for ruining everything, from agriculture to industry and economy, during its 10-year misrule.

"The Badals and their cronies were busy filling their own pockets, at the cost of the people’s welfare," he said.

His government had reversed the trend with 300 steel factories revived in Fatehgarh Sahib alone, he said.

On the issue of farmers’ problems, the Chief Minister lamented that the Centre had failed to come to their rescue despite his repeated pleas.

Despite fiscal constraints and the massive Rs. 2.08 lakh crore debt inherited by his government from the previous SAD-BJP regime, he said his government was reaching out to the farmers with its debt waiver scheme, which would benefit 10.25 lakh of the 17 lakh farming families in the state.

The Chief Minister promised to continue with the farm loan waiver, with the landless labourers also to be covered under a new scheme that the government was working on.

The debt waiver scheme of his government, however, was just a small relief to the poor farmers in distress but till they get the right price for their produce, their woes would continue, he added.