Bargari sacrilege cases: Complainants move CBI court for copy of closure report

The CBI has filed a closure report in the Bargari sacrilege cases after it failed to establish the involvement of the accused in the case.
File photo of a protest against inaction on Justice Ranjit Singh commission report on Bargari/Behbal Kalan Issue at Bhandari bridge in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal / HT File)
File photo of a protest against inaction on Justice Ranjit Singh commission report on Bargari/Behbal Kalan Issue at Bhandari bridge in Amritsar.(Sameer Sehgal / HT File)
Updated on Jul 19, 2019 11:54 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mohali | By, Mohali

The granthi and the head of the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara, on whose complaint an initial first information report (FIR) was registered in 2015 sacrilege cases, have moved the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court in Mohali seeking a copy of the closure report filed by the central probe agency.

The CBI on July 4 filed a closure report in the sacrilege cases after it failed to establish the involvement of the accused in the case.

Granthi Gora Singh and president of the gurdwara committee Ranjit Singh on Wednesday appeared in the CBI court through their counsel Gagan Pradeep Singh Bal seeking inspection of the file and copy of the closure report. The court has listed their application for July 23 when the case comes up for hearing.

On June 1, 2015, police registered a case under Sections 380 and 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on Gora’s complaint after a ‘bir’ (copy of Guru Granth Sahib) went missing from the gurdwara. A case under Section 295 of the IPC was registered on Ranjit’s complaint after posters with abusive language against Sikhs and their Gurus were noticed at the “samadh” of Pir Dhodha adjoining the gurdwara on September 25, 2015.

Police had arrested Dera Sacha Sauda followers Mohinder Pal Bittu, who was recently murdered in the Nabha jail, Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny, and Shakti Singh on Gora and Ranjit’s statements.

In November 2015, the previous SAD-BJP government handed over the investigations of three sacrilege cases — theft of ‘bir’ from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 1, 2015, putting up of handwritten sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages on September 25 and torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib being found at Bargari on October 12 —to the CBI.

The CBI took over the investigations from the SIT headed by DIG RS Khatra and registered a case against Bittu, Sukhjinder and Shakti. The SIT claimed that Bittu, state committee member of the dera, was the main conspirator and had stolen the ‘bir’ from the gurdwara.

In September 2018, the CBI court granted bail to the accused after it failed to file a challan in the case within a stipulated period.

To challenge the closure report, Punjab Police too moved the CBI court seeking its copy through district attorney Sanjeev Batra. The CBI said the police do not have any locus standi and termed them “outsiders”.

Contesting the arguments, Punjab Police maintained that they initially lodged the FIR and thus were “party and privy” to the investigations. Police clarified that they wanted to challenge the closure report thus should be given its copy. The application was also deferred to July 23.

The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) rejected the CBI closure report in Bargari sacrilege cases and decided to meet Union home minister Amit Shah to take up the matter with him.

The decision was taken during the SGPC executive meeting at Sultanpur Lodhi in Kapurthala on Wednesday. The executive committee, headed by SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal also decided to consult legal experts on the matter.

The committee decided to develop an orchid to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak.

Longowal said the SGPC will give 1 lakh compensation to a Samana resident, Harbhajan Singh, who lost his eye in the Bargari protest after being allegedly thrashed by the police.

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