Badal assures assembly, innocents will not be harassed

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Chandigarh, Mar 13 (UNI) Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today assured the state assembly that no innocent would be harassed by police.

''I assure that no innocent will be harassed while the wrong doers will not be spared'', he told the House during zero hour.

The Chief Minister was replying on the issue of police atrocities raised by Sukh Sarkaria (Cong) who alleged that a woman Zila Parishad member of his party was being harassed by the police in his constituency (Raja Sansi). Mr Badal assured the member that he would have the incident probed.

The rising number of road accidents in the state once again dominated the proceedings during zero hour in the assembly for the second consecutive day. Jagdish Sahni (BJP) who had raised the issue yesterday once again refered to the bus mishap in Gurdaspur district on Tuesday which claimed the lives of 12 passengers.

The Chief Minister who was not present in the assembly yesterday sought to assure the House that the government was as much concerened about this problem as the members were. He said that he had directed the Gurdaspur Deputy Commissioner to immediately distribute the compensation to the next-of-kin of the deceased and the injured in the accident.

He said that as per the state governments policy a ex-gratia grant of Rs one lakh is provided to family of a victim while Rs 50,000 is given to the seriously injured and Rs 25,000 to the other injured.

A number of members also expressed concern over the condition of the Amritsar-Gurdaspur highway which is accident prone and on which two serious mishaps occured over the last two days that claimed 16 lives. Mr Badal assured the members that he had brought this to the notice of the central government as it was a National Highway.

PWD Minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa interevened to tell the House that central aid for the first phase of four laning of this highway had already come and tenders had been alloted for certain sections of the highway. He assured Jagdish Sahni that the quality of the work on this highway would be periodically monitored and if the work was found sub standard an inquiry would be ordered.

Health Minister Laxmi Kanta Chawla wanted the ex gratia or compensation for road accident victims to be raised. She also wanted the government to ban the display of obscene posters at all liquor vends across the state.

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