Sukhbir Badal forgoes security to interact with farmers

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NewZNew (BOP 132 Khalra Sector/Tarn Taran) : Punjab Deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal today interacted with farmers across the barbed wire fence besides addressing a public meeting near here in which he assured the people that the State was equipped to take any Pak sponsored terrorist activity head on.

The Deputy chief minister decided to forgo his security as well as his bullet proof vehicle during the trip. He was driven to the barbed wire fence by DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and soon crossed it to interact with farmers ploughing their fields adjacent to Pakistan territory. He also interacted with BSF personnel.

The Deputy CM was briefed about the security arrangements at the border by BSF IG M.F. Farooqi. The officer disclosed that Pak soldiers and smugglers often came up to the fence to throw contraband material or even dig tunnels to smuggle drugs into Punjab.

Mr Badal said he understood the BSF was stretched as one guard had to look after an area of 300 meters each. He suggested that CCTV cameras and sensors should be installed adjoining the barbed fencing to guard against smuggling and terrorist activity.

Earlier while addressing people near the barbed fence, the Deputy CM said he had not come to talk politics. “I am here to assure you that the Punjab government is committed to maintaining peace on the border. Any attempt to destabilise this hard won peace will not be tolerated”, he added. Mr Badal also disclosed that the government had taken a decision to increase the police force in the border areas.

Speaking on the occasion, DGP Saini disclosed how Mr Badal had personally monitored the entire Deena Nagar operation. “The Deputy CM even asked whether the men engaged in the fire fight with terrorists were being supplied food or not”, he added. Mr Saini also said that the idea of increasing security presence in the border belt was not aimed at providing security bit also aimed at giving a sense of security to the people.

Among others present on the occasion included Prof. Virsa Singh Valtoha and Mr Harmit Singh Sandu (both chief parliamentary secretaries), DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Mr. Jangveer Singh, Media Advisor to the Deputy CM, IG Boarder range Ishwar Chander, DIG A.K. Mittal and Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal Deputy Commissioner, SSP Manmohan Kumar Sharma.