CHANDIGARH: Amid the Independence Day alerts, two miscreants managed to hoist a Khalistani flag atop Moga administrative building after removing the tricolour, prompting Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to order the state police chief to ensure their immediate arrest.
Following the incident, the Punjab police announced a reward of Rs 50,000 to anybody for giving any information leading to the arrest of the duo, even as Chief Minister Singh vowed to "teach a lesson" to anti-India elements like terrorist Gurpatwant Singh Pannu and his US-based pro-Khalistan outfit "Sikhs for Justice".
"You try to come to Punjab and I will teach you a lesson," said Singh, daring Pannu and adding that any attempt to disturb peace in Punjab would be dealt with an iron hand.
The CM also urged youths not to be swayed or misled by anti-national forces.
The two youths managed to sneak into the Moga administrative complex along with the employees reporting for duty at office opening hours and managed to reach the terrace of the four-storied building and hoist a saffron Khalistani flag, said Moga Superintendent of Police Harmanbir Singh Gill.
The accused hoisted the Khalistani flag after removing the tricolour from the building, he said, adding the police have the CCTV pictures of the accused.
A case under various sections of the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act has been registered after the incident, said Gill, exuding confidence that the duo will be arrested soon.
Describing the incident as an "act of cowardice", Moga Deputy Commissioner Sandeep Hans said the accused chose a time when employees were arriving for duty and no one suspected them.
Following the incident, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh directed police to take strict action against the miscreants responsible for hoisting the 'Khalistan' flag, an official release said here.
The CM also appealed to youngsters not to get swayed by the vicious propaganda of anti-India elements like Pannu and his banned US-based outfit SFJ.
As per an official statement, the chief minister directed DGP Dinkar Gupta to ensure that the two miscreants are identified and arrested at the earliest so that deterrent action, as per the law, could be taken against them.
Urging youngsters not to pay any heed to elements like Pannu, the chief minister said, "Some get emotionally swayed by such vicious propaganda."
Reacting to Pannu's call in a video for raising black flags to mark India's Independence Day, the Chief Minister said the Punjabis in India were prosperous people and were not interested in indulging in any such act at the behest of someone sitting in Canada or America.
"Why should they (the people of Punjab) do it? If you have the guts, you come here and do it" he dared Pannu, adding if the SFJ leader wanted, he could make his Khalistan at the place where he was hiding.
"Pannu does not even look like a Punjabi and does all this only for extracting money," he cautioned youths.