The Punjab government on Thursday told the Punjab and Haryana High Court that it will restore security cover of 424 persons in the state on June 7, The Indian Express reported.
It made the statement four days after singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moose Wala was shot dead in the state’s Mansa district. The singer was among the persons whose security detail was temporarily downgraded just a day before he was killed.
The High Court was hearing on Thursday a petition by former Punjab Deputy Chief Minister OP Soni, who was also among those whose security cover was scaled back, reported the Hindustan Times. Soni has sought quashing the order that downgraded his security detail.
The Punjab government told the High Court it had decided to cut down the security detail for the 424 persons as it needed additional police deployment for the anniversary of Operation Blue Star on June 6.
Operation Blue Star was a military operation conducted in June 1984 to remove Sikh militants led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale from the Golden Temple in Amritsar.
After Moose Wala’s killing, the Punjab government faced criticism from the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party for its decision to downgrade the security cover and for making the names of the 424 persons public.
On Monday, Moose Wala’s father Balkar Singh Sidhu had demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation and the National Investigation Agency into the murder. He demanded that officers who made the order about downgrading the security details should be held accountable.
Later in the day, the Punjab government announced that it would set up an inquiry commission under a sitting High Court judge to look into the killing of the singer. The chief minister’s office said that the state government will ensure full cooperation to the inquiry commission.
On Tuesday, the Punjab Police arrested a man identified as Manpreet Singh Bhau, accusing him of arranging vehicles for the assailants involved in Moose Wala’s killing. This is the first arrest in the case.