Letter to Prakash S. Badal, ‘One Year On: No Safety, Justice or Salary for Tehsildar Benipal,’ on 21/06/2010

S. Parkash Singh Badal
Chief Minister


18 June 2010

Dear Badal Sahib,

One Year On: No Safety, Justice or Salary for Tehsildar Benipal

It has been a very long year for Tehsildar Major (Rtd) Gurjinder Singh Benipal. A year ago this week a gang of Akali-sponsored goons burst into his office, shot at him and beat him almost to death.

At the time, people across Punjab, jaded as they are towards excessive violence, were horrified by the crime. The public felt that if it could happen to someone like Major Benipal, it could happen to anyone, and that truly no-one was safe from the Akali outlaws.

Many felt strongly that you or your son should have visited Tehsildar Benipal. As the Chief Minister of Punjab, many believed you should have visited one of your government servants so brutally attacked for carrying out his duty honestly and correctly. You and your family routinely visit Ludhiana but in one year you have not found the heart to visit the victim.

Most tragically, you did not even deem that the situation warranted the provision of state security, something that the victim had to secure through the courts. One year on, we find that Tehsildar Benipal still fears for his life.

I ask you this, as Chief Minister and leader of the Party in whose name this crime was committed: Can you not rein in these hoodlums? Can you not make a stand against such violence? Punjabis are tired of violence. Tired of fear. As such a senior leader, all it would take is for you, personally, to stand up and say “Enough is Enough”.

You have amply demonstrated that you care only for the security and well being of your family and close cronies.

One year on, Tehsildar Benipal’s physical injuries are not healed, and things that could have been done to ease his emotional injuries have been neglected. I would hope that you can take action, albeit a year too late, to ease Major Benipal’s situation with the courtesy of a visit and the payment of his salary.

And whilst I would never advocate political interference in the judicial system, it would be a blessing also if you could find it in you to at least personally ensure that the cases receive no hindrance and proceeds rapidly and smoothly through the system and according to the law.

Should Tehsildar Benipal suffer any further violence the responsibility will be yours alone.

Yours sincerely,

Jassi Khangura, MLA
Halqa Qila Raipur

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