Making a U-turn on his statement about a possible “foreign hand” behind the attack on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Jagdish Gagneja, Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday said there was no evidence on the involvement of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the case.
When asked about his deputy Sukhbir Singh Badal’s statement on the ISI’s role in the attack and other law-and-order setbacks in the state, the CM said “it was just a suspicion”.
Speaking on the sidelines of a “sangat darshan” at Kapoor Pind in Adampur assembly segment, Badal said the state has also not found any evidence of a foreign hand in the last year’s sacrilege cases, including the Bargari desecration. “There were 14 sacrilege incidents last year and 13 were solved. We didn’t find any evidence of a foreign link,” said the CM.
On Sukhbir’s claims that Sikh radical groups from abroad were financing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Badal said: “We have no information about it.”
Sukhbir, however, stood by his Wednesday’s statement on the ISI hand. On the sidelines of a function to inaugurate a “sewa kendra” at Begowal in Kapurthala district on Friday, Sukhbir told mediapersons that he has already said the Pakistani agency is behind unrest in the state.
The deputy CM said the arrest of militants in Amritsar and Hoshiarpur is the proof of ISI-backed groups being active in the state to destroy its peace ahead of the assembly polls.
Questioned on his father’s statement denying any such evidence, Sukhbir clarified: “I am saying we have ‘information’, not ‘evidence’ that the ISI is active in Punjab.” Later, avoiding any other media query, he immediately left the press conference.
CAPT WANTS EVIDENCE OF RADICALS FUNDING AAP
SBS NAGAR: Punjab Congress chief Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday asked deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal to share evidence on the AAP allegedly getting funds from radical Sikh organisations.
On the sidelines of a programme here, the former CM said Sukhbir is making an attempt to put the blame for the complete breakdown of law and order in Punjab on Pakistan’s ISI. Taking a dig at AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal as well, he said both the Delhi CM and Sukhbir are trying to blame others for their own failures.