On the occasion of the country’s 75th Independence Day, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday vowed to protect the border state against the nefarious designs of Pakistan, even as he pledged to continue fighting with the farmers for the repeal of the Centre’s black farm laws.

Calling for extreme vigil against Pakistan, which continued to try to foment trouble even 75 years after independence, the Chief Minister said while “we want Punjab, but will not tolerate any aggression or attack on our territory”.

Addressing the people of Punjab after unfurling the national flag here, the Chief Minister declared “we will teach them (Pakistan) the lesson of their lifetime if they try to be adventurous”.

Pointing to the use of drones by the neighbouring country to smuggle arms and drugs into the state, the Chief Minister warned that Pakistan would not leave any opportunity to take advantage of any vulnerability in Punjab.

Stressing the need to ensure peace in the state to promote the development of industry and the progress of its people, he said his government would not tolerate any threat, including those from gangsters and terrorists.

“We will deal with them squarely. Any threat to Punjab would be a danger to our entire nation”.

He said since his government took over, 47 Pakistani terrorist modules and 347 modules of gangsters had been neutralised, including some key gangsters who had been deported from Armenia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other countries, with more awaiting deportation.

Later, interacting informally with the media on the sidelines of the Independence Day function, the Chief Minister expressed concern about the continuing agitation of the farmers and said he had raised the issue recently during his meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

He said he demanded the repeal of the farm laws, which were anti-farmer and against the spirit of the Constitution.

He made it clear that he would continue to fight with the farmers for the revocation of these legislations, and would not let the sacrifices of those who had lost their lives in this struggle go in vain.

Amarinder Singh said, “The fight against these black laws is not political. It does not matter who is in power where. We need to stand by what is right and to ensure that our rights under the Constitution are not crushed. Had some of the other political parties heeded my repeated implorations in June last year to unitedly articulate our deep concerns before the Centre, this situation might not have arisen.”

In his official address, the Chief Minister spoke about the legal efforts made by his government to get the sacrilege cases back from the CBI, to which the previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the three first information reports they had registered, along with another three in the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases.

Since taking over the cases from the CBI, chargesheets have been filed in four cases against 23 persons and 15 police personnel have been suspended while 10 persons have been arrested, he said, adding 10 challans have been presented so far.

Referring to the gains made by his government in its fight against the menace of drugs, pointing to the 47, 510 cases registered under the NDPS Act and the 216 ‘big fish’ arrested so far.

More than 700, 000 patients are undergoing treatment as part of the de-addiction programme, he added.

The Chief Minister expressed pride in the performance of the 20 men and women who had brought laurels to the state in the Tokyo Olympics and said besides the cash rewards, government jobs would be given to all of them.

He, however, personally felt all this was not enough to appreciate their achievements, he added.

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