Chandigarh, January 19, 2016: Punjab Convener, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Sucha Singh Chhotepur today lambasted SAD-BJP alliance government for its failure to check the immigration mafia in the state forcing hundreds of youths to land on foreign shores illegally.
The mafia of travel agents in Punjab not only lure the youths to shell out hefty sums but also put their lives in danger while promising to fulfil their foreign dreams.
Addressing a press conference here Chhotepur along with senior AAP leader Himmat Singh Shergill was referring to the Panama boat tragedy in which nearly 20 US bound Punjabi youths feared to have drowned on Sunday.
Chhotepur said while his party was still trying to get more details on the Panama boat tragedy from both the union and the state government, the media reports suggest that well oiled illegal immigration business worth Rs. 15,00 crore is proliferating in Punjab under the nose of Parkash Singh Badal led government.
Chhotepur also blamed the SAD-BJP government for its failure to generate employment opportunities during the last nine years of its tenure for the youth which is why they are being attracted by the unscrupulous travel agents to go abroad.
The AAP convener said it is laughable to learn deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal is in touch with the MEA to send a team of police officers to Panama to inquire about the boat tragedy.
" What kind of inquiry the police intends to do in Panama. If Sukhbir was serious about the issue he could have dealt the immigration mafia with an iron hand being the home minister of Punjab", said Chhotepur.
He said AAP leadership would soon approach the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) to send a party delegation to Panama to gather information about the boat tragedy. The delegation would submit a detailed report to the party leadership suggesting ways and means to ensure such incidents don't occur in future.
Unfortunately the mafia has been proliferating in Punjab with the tacit support of the SAD-BJP government and with the active backing of Punjab Police officials. " Otherwise why the Punjab police have failed to act against the travel agents on the hundreds of complaints pending in the various police stations across the state", he said.
Chhotepur the Akali government has failed to implement the Punjab Travel Profesionals' Regulation Act, 2012, under which all travel agents must be registered with the government. As a result a a large number of agents are operating illegally without being registered under the Act.
AAP leaders said that the party would soon constitute a wing which would reach out to the families in Punjab whose members have been stuck on foreign lands due to lack of documentation. " We will see if we can help them come back to Punjab", said Chhotepur.
Tuesday, January 19, 2016