Hardline Sikh leaders felicitate ex-IG for probe into 2015 police firing cases
Hardline Sikh organisations on Friday honoured former Punjab Police inspector general Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh with a gold medal and siropa (robe of honour) outside Golden Temple for his role in investigating the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing cases of 2015 that left two Sikh protesters dead.
Sikh preacher and Haryana Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (HSGPC) president Baljit Singh Daduwal, who played a key role in felicitating the former IPS officer, and representatives of Sikh organisations, including Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), United Akali Dal (UAD), Shiromani Akali Dal (Democratic), Shiromani Akali Dal-Delhi (Sarna faction), Sikh Youth Federation (Bhindranwala) and some Nihang organisations gathered in the verandah in front of the main entrance of the holiest Sikh shrine, to do the honours despite Covid-19 restrictions that don’t allow more than 20 people to assemble.
Addressing the gathering, Daduwal said, “Being a fearless police officer, Kunwar Vijay investigated the case with honesty and impartiality. Unfortunately, the Punjab and Haryana high court quashed the report, giving respite to the accused, including senior police officials. Though the Sikhs have been deprived of justice with the quashing of the probe, they are happy over the role played by Kunwar Vijay. We wanted to honour him by calling a big Panthic gathering but it was possible due to the surge in Covid-19 cases. This honour is on behalf of all Sikh organisations.”
Expressing gratitude, Kunwar Vijay said, “I did my best to bring the culprits to justice and did not bother about my job as it was a matter of the Guru’s sacrilege.”
He had led the Punjab government-constituted special investigation team (SIT) but opted for voluntary retirement on April 11, two days after the high court quashed his report, directing the state government to reconstitute a new SIT without him on board.
Other Sikh organisation leaders also praised his role in their speeches. They attacked Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir Singh Badal over the 2015 incidents.
SAD (Democratic) leaders Bhai Mohkam Singh, Manjit Singh Bhoma, SAD(A) leader Jaskaran Singh Kahan Singh Wala, former MLA Ravinder Singh Brahmpura, UAD leader Gurdeep Singh Bathinda, Sikh Youth Federation Bhindranwala president Balwant Singh Gopala, Sarna group leader Harjot Singh Sandhu and former Golden Temple priest Bhai Balbir Singh, who denied Parkash Singh Badal a ‘siropa’ inside Golden Temple, were present on the occasion.
Meanwhile, a group of Sikh activists also protested the honour of Kunwar Vijay, alleging that he had given the clean chit to police officers who played a role in the firing incidents.