Punjab CM Amarinder Singh backs state police over questioning of Katarpur pilgrims, says acted on IB's request in national security interest

'Had the Gurdaspur police failed to act, I would have taken strict action against them,' Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh told the state Assembly backing the state police over questioning some Kartarpur Sahib pilgrims

Press Trust of India February 28, 2020 23:32:28 IST
Punjab CM Amarinder Singh backs state police over questioning of Katarpur pilgrims, says acted on IB's request in national security interest
  • 'Had the Gurdaspur police failed to act, I would have taken strict action against them,' Punjab CM Amarinder Singh told the state Assembly on Friday

  • The Punjab Assembly on Thursday had witnessed uproar over the state police questioning a few Kartarpur Sahib Gurdwara pilgrims upon their return from Pakistan

  • The chief minister said police acted within permissible limits of functioning in the matter while responding to a question over the issue by AAP legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan

  • Singh said his government will cooperate with central agencies in the larger interest of the national security as and when required

Chandigarh: A day after the opposition targeted the Congress-led government over the issue of questioning of some Kartarpur Sahib pilgrims, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh backed the Punjab Police's action and said it acted on the request of the Intelligence Bureau in the interest of national security.

"Had the Gurdaspur police failed to act, I would have taken strict action against them," Singh informed the House in the ongoing budget session in .

Punjab CM Amarinder Singh backs state police over questioning of Katarpur pilgrims says acted on IBs request in national security interest

File image of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh. Twitter@capt_amarinder

They took action in the interest of national security, he said.

The Punjab Assembly on Thursday had witnessed uproarious scenes over the questioning of a few devotees upon their return from the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara in Pakistan by the Punjab Police, with the opposition targeting the government for allegedly "harassing" the pilgrims.

The chief minister said police acted within permissible limits of functioning in the matter. He was responding to a question over the issue by AAP legislator Kultar Singh Sandhwan.

Singh said his government will cooperate with central agencies in the larger interest of the national security as and when required.

If police force fail to act in accordance with the established security mechanism in coordination with the central agencies, action would be taken against them, he said.

The chief minister pointed out that over 51,000 pilgrims had already paid obeisance after opening of the Kartarpur corridor and this was the first such instance of devotees being questioned.

The IB had in this case raised some doubts and asked the state police for assistance in ensuring the credentials of some of the pilgrims for security reasons, he added.

In view of its sensitive border location, the state was duty bound to work closely with central agencies to ensure the country's security, he further said.

On Thursday, jails minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa had informed the House that the pilgrims were questioned after the directions came from the central agency, Intelligence Bureau, in Amritsar.

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