Amritsar: A day after a police official was shot dead for resisting harassment of her daughter here local SAD leader Ranjit Singh Rana and his three accomplices were arrested while an SHO was dismissed for his alleged failure to act on the girl's eve teasing complaint.
SAD leader Ranjit Singh Rana, Dharmpal Singh and Prabhjit Singh were arrested on Thursday while Gurbeer Singh Beera was arrested late last night. Police is looking for the fifth accused Sandeep Sunny.
Talking to reporters, he said that if the SHO had initiated action against the accused well in time the crime would have been prevented.
"After the suspension of SHO Ashwani Kumar, proceedings were initiated for his dismissal from the police services, since police department don't need such inefficient officers in the state," he said.
Giving details of the arrests, the DGP said, "SSPs of five districts including Tarn Taran, Ferozepur, Kapurthala, Gurdaspur and Commissioner Amritsar along with the force of 1,000 policemen, 60 SHOs, 30 DSPs carried out massive search and raids and finally nabbed the accused from Rajokey village of Tarn Taran district."
Besides arms, the SUV car used in the crime was also recovered as the entire search operation was led by the ADGP Hardip Singh Dhillon, he said.
The policeman Ravinderpal Singh was on Wednesday killed after he asked the youths, including the SAD activist, who used to allegedly tease his daughter, to stop harassing her.
"We have lost our colleague and we will definitely take care of the family even I personally along with the Punjab Cabinet minister Bikram Majithia visited to family and assured them all possible help and needful," the DGP said.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said here that "nobody will be allowed to take law in his own hands, whosoever high or influential he may be".
District President of the ruling SAD, Upkar Singh Sandhu, said the key accused Rana was made district secretary just three months back, and now he has been expelled from the party.
The DGP, who along with Punjab's Revenue Minister Bikram Singh Majithia visited the victim's family on Thursday after being directed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, said the approach adopted by the SHO of the area where the crime took place was found "unacceptable".
"It is a serious incident, we took it very seriously and nabbed the accused within ten hours of the crime," he said.
Saini said, "The SHO concerned wilfully didn't initiate any action against the accused when daughter of ASI approached him in the police station with the complaint that she was being teased by the accused off and on. If the SHO had initiated action against the accused well in time the occurrence of crime would have been prevented".
The Chief Minister also directed the Commissioner of Police, Amritsar, to probe the entire matter to ascertain the circumstances which led to this incident and also to "fix responsibility of the delinquent officials".
However, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh said that "merely suspending (dismissing) the police officials is not going to improve law, you better tame your goons in Akali Dal. If a policeman cannot be saved in Punjab what would be the plight of common man."
Amarinder said the police had arrived late at the spot giving opportunity to the accused to come back again after shooting few bullets at the ASI earlier.
He blamed Bikram Majithia "for patronising the goons and criminals who had the audacity to kill an ASI who objected to the eve teasing of his daughter."
Majithia, meanwhile, while replying to a question said they had no inkling that Rana could do such a thing.
Meanwhile, the DGP said that three weapons used in the crime, a .12 bore double barrel gun, a rifle and a pistol have been recovered from the accused and the weapons were found to be licensed ones.
23-year-old daughter of the ASI had told her father that the group of youth regularly intercepted her when she moved out of her house and passed lewd comments.
On Wednesday, when ASI Ravinderpal Singh objected to the alleged harassment of his daughter, he was shot at.
After being shot, a profusely bleeding Ravinderpal (47) was rushed to hospital where he was declared brought dead.
After the crime, police had registered a case under various Sections of the IPC and the Arms Act against Rana, and some others.
The ASI was posted at Gharinda police station under Amritsar rural district.
DGP Saini admitted that the girl and his father ASI Ravinderpal were complaining to the police about the errant and behaviour of the accused, but every time SHO ignored them which led the situation to take ugly turn.
"We don't need such officers who are incapable to take action against such elements in the society particularly when the matter was brought to their notice by the child (woman) in the police station. I assured such incidents would never repeat in the state," he said.
Leader of Opposition in Assembly, Sunil Jakhar, condemned the incident.
Congress has all sympathy with the family of the deceased ASI Ravinderpal, Jakhar said in Amritsar.
Jakhar alleged that such a heinous crime occurred due to the alleged "gross negligence on the part of Punjab Government which has lost its grip over the law and order situation all over the state".
He said Congress will stage a protest in Amritsar against the SAD government next week.
Meanwhile, the radical Sikh outfit Dal Khalsa has demanded that Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal should be divested of the Home portfolio as he has allegedly failed in maintaining the law and order in the state.
The shameful incidents of Faridkot and Amritsar were a reflection of 'goonda' culture "being promoted and patronized by Sukhbir and his coterie," spokesman of the outfit said.