AAP vs Punjab Police: CM Bhagwant Mann's pre-poll promise of 'Free hand to police' chained by 'own' MLAs

Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann's 'free hands to Police' pre-poll promise is seen to be backfiring as multiple reports have emerged in the past few weeks that his own party's MLAs are at the loggerheads with the state police affairs

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The much-heated debate of political influence in Police affairs has been doing rounds for more than 1 year. Be it the opposition parties accusing the Narendra Modi administration of using central investigative agencies like ED and CBI for their own 'political' benefits or using the state authorities in order to threaten MPs and MLAs to tumble the elected government, the political influence in the Police force or investigative agencies are indeed problematic. Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been vocal in the above-mentioned debate and has slammed the Government of India for doing so on multiple occasions. The AAP won the 2022 Punjab State elections on multiple promises including Bhagwant Mann saying 'giving free hands' to Police which raised expectations that Punjab will see a force without political influence. However, Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann's 'free hands to Police' pre-poll promise is seen to be backfiring as multiple reports have emerged in the past few weeks that his own party's MLAs are at the loggerheads with the state police affairs. Not only this, Tarn Taran AAP MLA even Kashmir Singh Sohal has stated that he will sideline the SSP against party workers’ arrest.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) parliamentary and election committee member Iqbal Singh Lalpura slammed Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann saying that he has demolished the freedom of the Police forces. Talking exclusively to True Scoop, Iqbal Singh Lalpura stated that the Aam Aadmi party MLAs want the police to work under and not for the common people adding that the transfer and appointment of Punjab Police lie in their hands. Citing the example of Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav, Iqbal Singh Lalpura stated that if a state's top is chosen on Punjab CM's personal bias and not by hierarchy, freedom of Police is least expected from that place. Lalpura further added that Punjab DGP Gaurav Yadav was at the 9th spot as per hierarchy, however, he was elected to the position of Punjab's top cop. As a result, not only the Police but the bureaucracy is not happy with the 'immature' Bhagwant Mann-led Punjab Government. Furthermore, Lalpura also slammed the bureaucracy and the Police saying that they lack leadership. Despite scuffling with MLAs and corruption cases against them, no cases were filed by the Police against them.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Jalandhar Central MLA Raman Arora talking to True Scoop News totally denied it and stated that the opposition does not have any issue that's why they are outlining any trivial matter. Arora further stated that the Police are working with all their freedom and no political influence has been put upon them. Arora also discussed his scuffle with DCP Naresh Dogra saying that 'everything has been compromised and we respect Punjab Police personnel like own brothers'. Slamming the opposition parties, Arora also stated that the AAP MLAs have been working day and night and therefore the opposition cannot see the good work done by us.

AAP's tiff with Punjab Police

There are multiple incidents in which the Aam Aadmi Party's MLAs have been seen in an argument or even openly threatening to sideline Police officers in the investigation. The most recent one being of Tarn Tarn. A massive row erupted after Police had earlier arrested AAP worker Harpreet Singh for allegedly illegally axing trees on the land that belonged to the state forest department. As a result, AAP Tarn Taran MLA Kashmir Singh Sohal on Saturday told protesting party workers outside City Police Station that the case registered would be canceled, while promising to ‘sideline’ the SSP. “I will also enure that the SSP is sidelined so as to teach him a lesson,” said AAP MLA Kashmir Singh Sohal in his shocking statement.

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In another case, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Jalandhar Central MLA Raman Arora and deputy commissioner of police (DCP) Naresh Kumar Dogra ended up in a scuffle following an argument that broke out while they were trying to settle a dispute between car dealers. After the scuffle, MLA Raman Arora lodged a complaint against DCP Dogra, demanding action against him. Reportedly, there was a dispute between car dealers Harish Chawla and Jagmohan Chawla and DCP Neeraj Arora, the nephew of DCP Dogra, who owns the adjoining showroom at Shastri Market in Jalandhar city.

The Ludhiana incident indeed caught everyone's attention In July 2022 as a video surfaced in which it was seen an altercation took place between AAP Ludhiana South MLA Rajinder Pal Kaur Chinna and ACP Jyoti Yadav over a scheduled search operation. While the ACP arrived to conduct an operation to nab drug smugglers and anti-social elements in Shimlapuri and adjoining areas, the MLA tried to show her supremacy. Chinna questioned Yadav on why she wasn't informed about this in advance. She insisted that the Police Commissioner had directed that MLAs of the respective areas should be taken along during search operations. After a few minutes, the AAP legislator accompanied the police during the search operation.