Tue, 31 Mar 2020

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India], Feb 22 (ANI): Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta on Saturday said that there was no religious connotation in his remark about Kartarpur corridor.

"I only red-flagged the obvious 'potential' for misuse by elements notorious for their hostility towards India and their effort to exploit every opportunity, even the most pious one, to disturb the peace and communal harmony," said Gupta in a statement.

He said that he had "rejoiced at the opening of Kartarpur Sahib corridor, which has fulfilled the decades-old aspirations of millions of devotees like myself all over the world who profess their faith in Guru Nanak Dev Ji and his divine teachings."He said the State government and all its agencies including the Punjab Police worked with great devotion and commitment to successfully observe the historic event.

"As the State DGP, I assure that we will continue to strive to work towards facilitating trouble-free access to the holy shrine of Sri Kartarpur Sahib," he said.

Gupta's statement comes close on the heels of opposition parties in Punjab -- including AAP and Shiromani Akali Dal -- slamming him for his remark. AAP has even sought his sacking from the post of State DGP.

Gupta also said that, as the DGP of the state, which is faced with a continuing battle against violent extremism that continues to be funded and supported from across the border, he cannot over-emphasise the need to remain vigilant.

Referring to his remarks made at an event, Gupta said that there was absolutely no reference to any religion or community in his remarks but simply that some anti-national elements based in the hostile neighbourhood could misuse and exploit this opportunity.

"Therefore, 'we' need to be vigilant to such potential dangers in the interest of peace and security of the people of the State, who had already suffered a lot in the past at the hands of terrorism promoted by our hostile neighbour," he said.

The DGP said that he was personally there when the first pilgrim crossed the border at Dera Baba Nanak, to visit Kartarpur Sahib in November last year. In the four months since the Punjab Police has facilitated more than 51,000 devotees. (ANI)

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