Full compensation for losses in unrest: Badal (Lead)

May 26th, 2009 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Chandigarh, May 26 (IANS) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Tuesday said his government was willing to pay full compensation for the losses people have suffered in violence in the state following the killing of a Dera Sachh Khand leader in a gurdwara in Austria’s capital Vienna Sunday.
Addressing the media here after an all-party meeting to discuss ways to control the violence in several parts of Punjab since Sunday evening, Badal said the situation was “normal” in most areas Tuesday.

He confirmed that at least three people had died in the violence and dozens were injured.

Reacting to the statement of central Home Minister P. Chidambaram that the Punjab government did not react adequately to control the situation, Badal said: “The situation was not in our control after it erupted. It takes some time to requisition army and paramilitary forces to assist the civil authorities.”

The all-party meeting was attended by representatives of all parties in Punjab, including the main opposition Congress.

After the meeting, Badal told reporters here: “It has been decided in the meeting that the state government would compensate all the losses. All the parties have condemned the demise of Sant Rama Nand and prayed for early recovery of Sant Niranjan Dass. This attack is a big blow on the humanity, brotherhood and peaceful environment prevailing here.”

The meeting urged the central government to ask the Austrian government to punish those behind the Vienna killing.

The state government urged the central government to expedite the process to get the body of slain sect leader Sant Rama Nand Dass, who was killed in the Vienna shrine clash, back to India.

Badal said the government had offered to give a state funeral to the sect leader if the sect wanted it.

Talking about the curfew imposed in various towns, Punjab Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said: “In Jalandhar, the curfew is still in place while in Ludhiana it has been lifted in most of the areas. In Phagwara and Hoshiarpur, we have given a four-hour relaxation and gradually we will lift it completely as things are becoming quite normal.”

About the alleged delay in police action against the miscreants, Badal junior said: “We had only four companies of PAP (Punjab Armed Police) when violence broke on Sunday and they were immediately sent to the affected areas. We did not have enough manpower so we approached the Government of India. However, the central forces took five-six hours to reach the affected areas and after that the situation was completely under our control.”

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