Spotlight on sacrilege, SAD bets on police firing accused Mantar Brar from Kotkapura seat

Party went ahead with ex-MLA’s candidature to strengthen its claim that it had no involvement in post-desecration incidents, say sources
A police vehicle torched by anti-sacrilege protesters in Faridkot district in October 2015.
A police vehicle torched by anti-sacrilege protesters in Faridkot district in October 2015.
Published on Sep 02, 2021 02:05 AM IST
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By Parteek Singh Mahal, Faridkot

Even as the incidents involving post-sacrilege violence are in the spotlight ahead of the 2022 Punjab assembly elections, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has decided to field Mantar Singh Brar, one of the accused in the 2015 police firing cases, as its candidate from the Kotkapura constituency.

The party, it is learnt, has decided to go ahead with Brar’s candidature to strengthen its claim that it had no involvement in the post-sacrilege firing incidents.

Brar was the Kotkapura MLA when the firing incident took place in 2015. He was named as accused in the FIR alleging his involvement in the Kotkapura firing incident. The special investigation team (SIT) had claimed that Brar pressurised the then Kotkapura station house officer (SHO) Gurdeep Singh not to record statements of the complainant, Ajit Singh, and other persons injured in the police firing. Brar allegedly exchanged 157 calls with senior police officers on the day of firing and directed the administration to disperse the protesters by using force, the SIT had alleged.

However, the chargesheets filed by SIT in the Kotkapura firing cases were quashed by the Punjab and Haryana high court in April and a fresh SIT was constituted by the state government to probe the Kotkapura firing case.

The SAD on Wednesday announced its candidates from six constituencies in Punjab, repeating all the three candidates from Faridkot district who unsuccessfully contested the 2017 polls.

Apart from Brar, Youth Akali Dal (YAD) president Parambans Singh Romana was declared candidate from Faridkot and Suba Singh Badal from Jaitu.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021