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Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019

Bargari closure report: CBI takes U-turn, says wants to re-probe cases

On July 4, the CBI filed a closure report in three cases of sacrilege — theft of a ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib from a Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village on June 1, 2015, putting up of hand-written sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25.

chandigarh Updated: Aug 27, 2019 08:11 IST
Shailee Dogra
Shailee Dogra
Hindustan Times, Mohali
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 )
         

Fifty-three days after filing a closure report in the politically and religiously sensitive Bargari sacrilege cases of 2015, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday took a U-turn and filed an application in the special court, Mohali, saying it wants to carry on with the probe.

Behind the change of mind, the CBI has cited the July 29 letter written by special DGP-cum-director bureau of investigation (BoI) Parbodh Kumar, requesting the CBI director to carry out the probe, citing a few “unanswered angles”, including the role of foreign agencies and the two Pakistani numbers which were active in Bargari during the sacrilege incidents.

Parbodh’s request, however, had surprised many in the ruling Congress as it came at a time when the government was questioning the CBI’s locus standi to probe the cases after it had withdrawn the consent.

“Now that the special DGP has given certain new information/facts, the same needs to be investigated afresh. Further, the said information/facts need to be verified, so, therefore, in the interest of justice, investigation may be conducted,” reads the application filed in the court of special judicial magistrate, CBI, Mohali.

The case will come up for hearing on September 4.

On July 4, the CBI filed a closure report in three cases of sacrilege — theft of a ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib from a Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village on June 1, 2015, putting up of hand-written sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25 and torn pages of ‘bir’ being found at Bargari on October 12. The previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the cases to the CBI in November 2015.

The agency gave a clean chit to Dera Sacha Sauda followers — Mohinder Pal Bittu, who was murdered in Nabha jail; Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny, and Shakti Singh — who were said to be the main conspirators in the sacrilege as per findings of the DIG RS Khatra-led special investigation team of Punjab Police.

The closure report also resulted in a slugfest between the CBI and the state government. On July 17, when the state had filed an application in the court seeking copy of the closure report, the central agency had argued that Punjab doesn’t have any locus standi to get the closure report and was a “stranger” and “outsider”. The court had also rejected the state’s plea to get a copy of the closure report on July 23.

The Punjab government has maintained in the court that CBI has no locus standi to probe the cases as Punjab Vidhan Sabha, through its resolution passed on August 28, 2018, had decided to withdraw the cases from the central agency.

First Published: Aug 27, 2019 01:01 IST

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