Former Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday said the Ajnala incident, in which supporters of radical preacher Amritpal Singh laid a siege on a police station, was more than a law and order collapse.
"This is not only a complete collapse of the law and order situation in Punjab, it is more serious than that," he said.
Amritpal's supporters, some of them brandishing swords and guns, broke through barricades and stormed into a police station complex here on Thursday, camping there till they were "assured" that an arrested man would be released.
Three policemen were hurt during the clash, officials said.
The BJP MP pointed out that the incident has serious security implications for the state and the country and warned there was a particular pattern in these incidents, which does not bode well for national security.
"Particularly when Pakistan is there to encourage and exploit such a situation," he said, as he questioned the competence of the state government in dealing with such a situation.
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Singh also questioned the motive behind carrying holy Guru Granth Sahib to the protest site, which, he said, was unacceptable.
The former CM appreciated the restraint exercised by the police in dealing with the armed trespassers.
"While the situation needs to be handled with care, at the same time, rule of law must prevail," he said in a statement.
Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring too condemned the incident in Ajnala.
He condemned the protestors for taking the holy 'bir' of Guru Granth Sahib to the police station, saying this was unprecedented. He appealed to the Akal Takhat Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh to take necessary action.
"Nip the evil in the bud," Warring said in a statement.
People of Punjab had not elected the Aam Aadmi Party government to push Punjab back to the dark days of violence, he said.
"What we are seeing today is reminiscent of the past which every Punjabi is scared of," he said and asked Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to take firm action against the rowdy elements.
Condemning Amritpal for carrying the holy scripture to the police station, Warring said, it showed only his "cowardice."
"If you really have faith in the Holy Guru, you don't need to carry it to the police station to fight the cops there," he told the Sikh preacher.
The PCC president warned that Punjab cannot afford another era of darkness and violence, which people like Amritpal are trying to drag the state into.
"People want peace and harmony and they will not accept any violence," he said.
Amritpal Singh and his supporters had also brought a vehicle carrying a copy of the "Guru Granth Sahib" for holding 'Amrit Sanchar' (a Sikh ceremony) at the Ajnala Police Station.
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