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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

Bargari sacrilege: CBI hands over probe to its special investigation team

cities Updated: Sep 26, 2019 01:10 IST

Nearly three months after filing a closure report in Bargari sacrilege cases, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has transferred the probe to its special investigation team.

The CBI on Wednesday informed the court of special judicial magistrate (CBI), Mohali, GS Sekhon that the probe has been handed over to the special team following a letter written by special director general of police, Punjab, and director, bureau of investigation (BoI) Prabodh Kumar.

The move comes after the Punjab government filed a protest petition saying the CBI had no jurisdiction to investigate or further investigate cases once consent to hand over the probe is withdrawn.

The court is yet to decide on the CBI’s application to keep the closure report in abeyance.

In his July 29 letter, Kumar requested the central agency to carry out the probe after the closure report gave a clean chit to Dera Sacha Sauda followers — Mohinder Pal Bittu (recently murdered in a Nabha jail), Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny, and Shakti Singh, in the 2015 Bargari sacrilege cases.

The letter cited some unanswered angles in the probe, including role of foreign agencies and two Pakistani numbers which were active in Bargari during the sacrilege incidents.

“The new facts need to be investigated afresh. So, the investigation of sacrilege cases has been handed over to special investigation team and a new probe officer has been appointed,” the CBI told the court, while seeking adjournment saying “we need to take a fresh look”. The court deferred the hearing to October 30.

CBI’s additional superintendent of police Anil Kumar Yadav is the new investigating officer. The cases were earlier probed by additional superintendent of police (CBI) P Chakraborty.

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 handwritten sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25 and torn pages of ‘bir’ being found at Bargari on October 12 — against the accused. The previous SAD-BJP government had handed over the cases to the CBI in November 2015.

After filing the closure report, the CBI on August 26 moved an application for keeping it in abeyance saying that “in interest of justice, further investigation in all three sacrilege cases need to be done on the request of bureau of investigation director in wake of the new information and facts”.