Sounding an alert in the state, Parkash Singh Badal said it was time that the Centre dealt with terrorism with an iron hand.
Condemning the terror attack in Dina Nagar town in Punjab’s Gurdaspur district on Monday, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said that terrorism was a national problem and has to be tackled by national policies.
“Terrorism is a national problem; it is not a state problem. It has to be tackled by national policies,” Badal said.
Four heavily armed terrorists wearing army uniform went on a rampage attacking a bus and a police station complex, leaving at least seven persons -- 3 security personnel, 4 civilians and 3 terrorists -- dead and several injured in Gurdaspur district bordering Pakistan.
Putting the onus on the Centre, Badal said that the border should have been sealed if there was an input about an impending terror attack in Punjab.
“The terrorists didn’t come from Punjab, they came from the border. If there was an input then it was their (Centre’s) job to seal the border,” Badal said.
Citing ill-health, Badal said that as soon as he got to know about the “dastardly act”, he immediately asked the Deputy General of Police S S Saini to reach the spot and coordinate the operation.
He said that a red alert had been sounded across the state following the incident.
“I am in regular touch with my officers. I am holding an emergency meeting with state chief secretary, home secretary, officers of the Intelligence department and other officials to assess the situation,” he said.
He further said that the officers were fighting bravely and will defeat the forces creating trouble with an iron hand.
Later, the chief minister visited the local Guru Nanak Hospital and assured the injured of full support from the state government.
He asked the deputy commissioner and officials of the health department to ensure quality medical treatment to the injured free of cost.
The chief minister also expressed profound grief and sorrow over the death of security personnel and civilians in the terrorist attack.
Stating that Punjab would remain indebted to the martyrs, Badal also paid tributes to Superintendent of Police Baljeet Singh who was killed in the attack.
Badal said it was high time that the Centre came up with a concrete policy to check such anti-national activities.
“We cannot afford the huge loss of life and property of our countrymen in such cowardly acts. So we must draft a national policy against terrorism,” he said.
Badal further said that to check such terror attacks, security at the borders should be completely beefed up by the Centre.
He said that the borders should be sealed in an effective manner so as to check infiltration by terrorist groups.
Timely action is needed to ensure that such incidents do not take place, he said.
The CM also said that this incident has nothing to do with the revival of terrorism in the state as it was an act of terrorist group active outside the state.
He said that Punjab had so far remained peaceful for the last few years and there was no chance of revival of terrorist activities in the state as the state’s security agencies had been keeping a strict vigil over the law and order situation.
“We are committed to maintaining peace and amity in the state at every cost and no one would be allowed to disturb it. We are valiantly confronting this attack against the unity and integrity of the country and with the blessings of God we will overcome it by evening,” he said.
Appealing to people to keep calm in this hour of crisis, the CM said people must promote the ethos of communal harmony, peace and brotherhood to give a crushing defeat to the forces inimical to the development of the state.
“This proxy war unleashed by some forces from across the border can only be won if state governments and the general public join hands together for this noble cause,” he said.
Meanwhile, Punjab Bharatiya Janata Party chief Kamal Sharma also strongly condemned the attack on innocent people.