2015 Kotkapura police firing case: SIT chargesheet lacks evidence, says Sukhbir Badal’s counsel in court - Hindustan Times
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2015 Kotkapura police firing case: SIT chargesheet lacks evidence, says Sukhbir Badal’s counsel in court

By, Faridkot
Mar 03, 2024 07:06 AM IST

The SIT, led by ADGP LK Yadav, in its 130-page supplementary chargesheet submitted in court on Monday, had observed that Sukhbir, who was then the state’s home minister, had conspired with the then director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, to conceal the role of Dera Sacha Sauda followers’ in the sacrilege cases preceding the firing incident as they form a major vote bank of the party.

Terming the special investigation team (SIT) supplementary chargesheet in the 2015 Kotkapura police firing case a “political document”, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal’s counsel RS Cheema argued in court that the probe agency has brought no evidence on record to substantiate the claims made against Sukhbir.

Subkhbir Badal’s counsel said that a sinister assertion has been made in the SIT chargesheet to paint Sukhbir Badal as a close ally of Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (Pushkar Singh Dhami-X)
Subkhbir Badal’s counsel said that a sinister assertion has been made in the SIT chargesheet to paint Sukhbir Badal as a close ally of Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. (Pushkar Singh Dhami-X)

The SIT, led by ADGP LK Yadav, in its 130-page supplementary chargesheet submitted in court on Monday, had observed that Sukhbir, who was then the state’s home minister, had conspired with the then director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini, to conceal the role of Dera Sacha Sauda followers’ in the sacrilege cases preceding the firing incident as they form a major vote bank of the party.

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Senior advocate Cheema argued that the chargesheet has a “conspiracy storyline” but no concrete evidence to corroborate it.

He stated that “non-existent incriminating circumstances” have been falsely projected as reliable material for substantiating the charge of conspiracy.

“A sinister assertion has been made to paint Sukhbir Badal as a close ally of Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh. In the challan, it has been alleged, without any basis, that the police inaction in the sacrilege cases was due to Sukhbir’s close ties with Ram Rahim. This is a strange claim as no evidence of any such relationship between the two has been brought on record, as there was none,” he said.

“There is not even an iota of material to suggest that Sukhbir Badal or late Parkash Singh Badal or any functionary of the state associated with them, in official capacity, made the slightest attempt to interfere in the investigation of the sacrilege cases,” the counsel asserted.

“Another feature of the ongoing investigation is that former CM Parkash Singh Badal, who was chargesheeted, died on April 25, 2023. Now the SIT has conveniently turned all the heat on Sukhbir Badal. The entire purpose of the chargesheet is to paint him as a perverse criminal. The chargesheet uses expressions like ‘deeply foul’, ‘misdeeds’, ‘depraved’, ‘wicked’, ‘cunningly’, ‘contemptible conduct’, ‘deceit’ and ‘cunningness’ in a planned manner in order to achieve the objective of character assassination of Sukhbir Badal,” said Cheema.

“The political character of the present investigation has become crudely open. The SIT is hell-bent to project and exaggerate a deep-rooted and widespread hostility between Dera Sirsa followers and the Sikh community,” he added.

“Similarly, the entire state of Punjab has been projected as partisan by stating that the entire focus of the state was directed towards suppression of the protest and not the investigation of third incident of sacrilege or regaining the confidence of protesters,” it was argued.

“...Kindly see how the false allegations of sectarian favouritism have been levelled in the chargesheet. Three of the protestors are described as prominent Sikh leaders and the protesters are painted as a noble gathering. There is also an unwarranted reference to the murders of dera premis in 2022. All these aspects expose the extraneous nature of the investigation in the present case,” he added.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Parteek Singh Mahal is a multimedia correspondent based at Faridkot in Punjab. He covers medical education, politics and Punjab police.

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