When dreaded Punjab gangster Jaipal and aides allegedly shot dead rival-turned politician Jaswinder Singh Rocky last April, the suspects’ jailed friends openly shared celebratory posts on Facebook.
Vicky Gounder, lodged in Nabha jail, claimed he got Rocky killed and even dared Bathinda senior superintendent of police Swapan Sharma to act against him. Such acts by criminals are not uncommon in the state but a raft of new measures by the government, the first such move in decades, might put an end to the brazen behavior.
The counter-measures include a tougher law, video-trial of gangsters and a special task force to tackle organised crime in the border state.
The ball has been set rolling on the enactment of the Punjab Control of Organised Crime Act (PCOCA), 2016, modelled on the controversial Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The new law is expected to be in force in six months.
The draft is now with the state home department for legal scrutiny before the cabinet puts its stamp on it.