Chandigarh: The Punjab Government on Thursday
approved an ordinance which provides for tough action against
those indulging in vandalism and destruction of public
properties during protests.
A meeting of the cabinet here chaired by Chief Minister
Parkash Singh Badal approved the `Punjab Prevention of Damage
to Public and Private Property Ordinance 2010`, Chief
Secretary S C Aggarwal told reporters.
As per the draft, those found guilty of damaging public
and private property would be put behind bars for a maximum
five years, he said adding there is also a provision of fine
of Rs 20,000.
If the damage is caused by some explosive substance and
fire, the punishment will be for seven years.
The draft also proposes to recover the cost of damages
from hoodlums and there is provision for further extension of
punishment for two years if an individual fail to pay the
Aggarwal said that there is also provision to auction the
movable property of the guilty.
In the past three years of SAD-BJP rule, the state had
witnessed several clashes in which major damage to properties
in the state was done by miscreants forcing Deputy Chief
Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to assure people to enact a new
law to check damage of property during protests.
The major related incidents included clashes between
followers of Dera Sacha Sauda and Sikh radical groups in 2007,
protests triggered in Doaba after the murder of Sant Rama Nand
in Vienna in 2009, violent protests by migrants against police
in Ludhiana and a communal conflict in Batala.