Following flak from the opposition, Punjab authorities rolled back the missive, directing district authorities in Punjab to play hymns during the chief minister's visits to counter slogans by protestors. Authorities cited 'clerical error' for the rollback.
The office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of the Special Protection Unit had on Thursday issued a letter to the deputy commissioners, police commissioners and senior superintendents of police in Punjabi with the subject "Regarding security arrangements during chief minister's visit." The letter said that various organisations raise slogans during the CM's visits and "therefore, whenever there is a function/programme of the Punjab chief minister in your district and different organisations hold demonstrations, DJ be placed, and gurbani shabad (hymns)/religious songs be played so the slogans are not heard." The letter has gone viral on social media.
Harpal Singh Cheema, Aam Aadmi Party MLA and leader of opposition in Punjab Assembly, dubbed the order as 'utterly shameful'. "How afraid you are @CHARANJITCHANNI? Trying to silence voice of protesting unions by such tactics shows your fear from them. You are not ready to face them and hear them. All you do is drama of being a sympathiser of all those who are fighting for their rights. Utterly Shameful," Cheema tweeted on Thursday, along with a picture of the order.
Sunil Jakhar, Senior Congress leader and former Punjab Congress chief, tweeted, "It couldn't be true! Sacrilegious and a mockery of democracy."
The office of the IG came out with another missive on Thursday stating the "earlier letter is being withdrawn because of clerical mistake".
"It is informed that when the Punjab chief minister is hearing pleas of the general public, the sound of loudspeakers be lowered so that he does not face any inconvenience in hearing out the public," the revised letter stated.