DEATH OF BRIG. (Retd.) GAGNEJA…
Is terrorism knocking doors of Punjab?
Today one of my young journalist friends, Anilesh Mahajan; whom despite our huge age difference (lest any controversy arises, I must clarify that he is younger and I am older), I respect and admire because of his great journalistic insights and acumen; posted an update on Facebook, posing a question;
"Punjab RSS's number 2 Brig Jagdish Gagneja breathed last at DMC&H, Ludhiana. He was shot at on August 6 in Jalandhar. Police is still clueless. Is terrorism knocking doors of Punjab?"
Before I move further, I must state that I had met Brigadier (Retd) Jagdish Gagneja, twice in my life time. Both meetings were held in his Jalandhar office which is located in some commercial building between Radisson hotel and the Clock Tower. I must apologize that despite my posting in Jalandhar for about less than one year, I hardly know the city. I know some locations but not exact addresses thereof.
I had met him in connection with my anti-drug campaign. I had been trying to seek the help and support of various political parties, front organisations thereof included; various politico - social - religious organisations, religious and dera heads, NGOs, youth organisations etc. I had succeeded in meeting some top leaders of Congress, BJP & left wing parties. Sadly, SAD and AAP leadership had either flatly refused to meet or just let the request go unheard. Even those who met indulged only in 'bandal-baji', slang for 'gas bags'. Some so called radical Sikh parties & organisations, a number of NGOs and youth organisations appeared to be sincerely concerned and did organise some campaigns. I also found 'radical Sikhs’ to be genuinely concerned and worried on the issue of drug menace.
Brigadier Gagneja had turned out to be a simple and straight forward man, despite the heavy weight of the brass that he wore on his shoulders while in service. I found him to be a down to earth and sincere man. I had barged into his office around lunchtime. He was eating his home cooked lunch out of his lunch box. He asked me to join in. On my polite refusal, he got up from in-between the lunch, washed his hands, gave me a glass of water and resumed his lunch after asking for a cup of tea for me. Our discussion hovered around the drug menace, total failure of law and order and civic administration in Punjab, corruption and criminalization of state politics etc. Offering his total support for the anti-drug drive, he promised to take up the matter with his organisation as well because drugs are being done all over the country, only the scale there of varies. Second meeting with him was more general in nature. He insisted on seeing me off till my car which was parked at a distance because of non-availability of parking space nearby. The attack on him had come as a shock. I had an instant liking for this gentleman.
Now coming to the point raised by Anilesh, my comment on his post was,
"No. It is only criminal - politician nexus which is operating and thriving in Punjab..."
Punjab is different from other states. Most foreign invasions into the country were from this route. Punjabis always had to face the first brunt thereof. It only helped in turning Punjabis into a martial race. In any martial race, fascination for arms is but natural and this is one of the reasons why we Punjabis love to possess arms. Thus, the so-called 'gun culture' is but a natural corollary. This 'arm culture' has been exploited by various rulers from time to time. Punjabi 'missels' were the very cause of the successful conquests of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the greatest of Sikh rulers ever. Britain's success at several places during the First and the Second World Wars was also only because of Punjabi troops.
The same Punjabi chivalry has been and is being exploited by modern day rulers in Punjab. Almost all political parties have enrolled their goons who are ever ready to quench their thirst for blood, money, good life and as usual, the sex. They indulge in all this under the patronage of their political godfathers who can't do without them. Goons are needed to grab property, be it private, state owned or natural resources. During elections they are used for intimidating voters. They are also the 'private army' which secures 'drug line' and ensures that drugs are not pilfered by couriers. These goons hibernate under political patronage almost across the spectrum but one particular party owns and controls the majority.
Over past few years these criminal gangs, with the connivance of their political lords, become more daring and aggressive. Their areas of operation have increased and they are working in league of similar politico-gangsters of other states. Their cooperation is on account of various reasons including; interstate availability of ‘unknown’ sharp shooters, transaction of latest weaponry and most important of all, ready-made availability of interstate shelter and creation of alibis.
Police forces are either silent spectators to it all because of political reasons or because the 'wiser' amongst them, are willful partners of thereof.
Ironically gangsters and criminalized / politicized police forces are an integral part of the kind of political system that we have in this country and shall remain so.
This 'arm of state power' operates under the PPP (Politician-Police-Protection).
This was the one major protected group which had hijacked law and order in Punjab even during the days of militancy and accusing fingers were raised somewhere else.
This is the age of POLITICO-TERRORISM...
There is no question of revival of terrorism in Punjab…