DW BUREAU / Chandigarh
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has asked a cabinet sub-committee to expedite the work on the Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA), which aims to check organised crime in the border state and is likely to be brought later this month.
The directive was issued yesterday during a meeting to review law and order in the state. The Act is likely to be brought later this month, a spokesperson said here.
The chief minister’s order came after DGP Suresh Arora raised the issue of giving more teeth to the police to tackle organised crime and gangsters in the state.
The police need to be empowered to effectively deal with criminals, for which a legislation such as PCOCA is needed on an urgent basis, he told the meeting.
The CM agreed that it was important to instill fear among criminals. The proposed legislation would ensure that the police are not obstructed in dealing with them with an iron hand, he said.
Though the proposed law would give wide powers to the police to take action against criminals in the state, it would have sufficient checks and balances to prevent any misuse, the spokesperson said.
The state government would ensure there is no arbitrary application of PCOCA or human rights violation is committed in the name of law, the spokesperson quoted the CM as saying.
Soon after assuming office, the Congress government had revived the proposal to introduce PCOCA in view of a large number of organised gangs operating in the state and a spate of recent incidents of jailbreaks and violent clashes in prisons.
The previous Akali-BJP government had also proposed PCOCA, but some of its ministers had apprehended that it could be misused for political vendetta.