Chief spokesperson of the Ahand Kirtani Jatha RP Singh has filed a criminal defamation lawsuit against deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal for the latter had called him an extremist and the outfit a “frontal organisation of Babbar Khalsa International”. The libel suit was filed in the district courts, Chandigarh, on Monday.
“There is no case against me, no weapon was ever recovered from me. How can he say I am associated with Babbar Khalsa?” he said. On Sunday, SAD president Sukhbir Badal had accused AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal of courting radical elements, citing as examples his meeting with RP Singh and his (Kejriwal) stay at the house of a former militant in Moga on Saturday.
“It is a political stunt. Sukhbir has lost his mind. Ours is a religious organisation whose sole aim is dharam prachar,” said 61-year-old RP Singh, a businessman, who lives in Phase 7 SAS Nagar. A qualified civil engineer, Singh had worked with the Punjab Water Supply and Sewerage Board prior to leaving his job in 1987. “For political benefit Sukhbir is maligning the name of the jatha. He is threatening people. We never ask anyone to vote for any political party,” he said.
He, however, admitted that “Kejriwal is his friend” for whom he even did ‘ardas’ when the Delhi chief minister and AAP leader Sanjay Singh had come to his house.
“I had even honoured Kejriwal with a siropa,” Singh said. “CM Parkash Singh Badal has known me since 1992. Badal used to approach the jatha seeking votes. Did Badal then not know we are BKI’s frontal organisation which Sukhbir is now accusing us of?” Singh said. He said jatha has 3-lakh members, of which 2 lakh live abroad.
He said sacrilege is an issue for every person true to his religion and no Guru ka Sikh will ever spare the people responsible for it. “RP Singh will not vote for the Congress that is responsible for the 1984 riots and also SAD, which is responsible for sacrilege. SAD failed to ensure law and order or take the culprits to task.”