FOUR years after Congress government drew flak for appointing former Chief Minister Beant Singh’s grandson as DSP in the Punjab Police on compassionate grounds by tweaking rules, the government is in the process of appointing party MLAs Rakesh Pandey and Fateh Jung Singh Bajwa’s sons as Tehsildar and DSP, respectively.
Both the MLAs had lost their respective fathers to terrorist attacks. Fateh Bajwa’s father, Satnam Singh Bajwa, was killed in a terrorist attack in Amritsar in 1987. Pandey’s father, Joginderpal Pandey, was also killed by terrorists in Ludhiana in 1987.
While Arjun Partap Singh Bajwa is likely to be appointed as DSP, Bhisham Pandey may be appointed as Tehsildar on compassionate grounds. As the Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Anurag Agarwal has objected to the appointment of Bajwa as DSP, the government is preparing to club their cases and table these in the Cabinet for the special permission. The agenda may come up in the next Cabinet meeting scheduled on June 2. But sources said it could be delayed also considering the objections.
While Bajwa has been vociferous lately in criticising the government, Pandey was also learnt to have extended his support to the rebels group. Fateh Bajwa is the younger brother of Rajya Sabha leader Partap Singh Bajwa, who has opened a front against the government.
Sources said that in Bajwa’s case, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Anurag Agarwal has returned the file to the Chief Minister’s Office several times with objections that the rules do not permit his appointment three decades after his grandfather was killed as the Supreme Court has clearly ruled that the jobs on compassionate grounds should be given within a time span. Also, as per the rules, the job on compassionate grounds can only be given if the job seeker is dependent on the person losing life or if the family is economically poor. In these cases, none of the criterion is applicable.
Sources said that these applications were received soon after Beant Singh’s grandson was appointed.
But these applications are being taken up now.
In May 2017, the government had appointed Beant Singh’s grandson and MP Ravneet Bittu’s brother Guriqbal Singh as DSP. In his case the government had taken the case to the Cabinet meeting to grant special permission by relaxing maximum age requirement.
While Fateh Bajwa could not be contacted, Rakesh Pandey said, “My son’s case is pending. It has not been done and I understand there are some objections. But we deserve this job. My father had laid down his life for raising a voice against the militancy.”