Sukhbir skips Punjab Police SIT summons, appears in Zira court

Aug 30, 2022 03:38 PM IST

Shiromani Akali Dal spokesperson says the former deputy CM’s presence was required in Zira court in highway blocking case, hence new date sought from SIT

Former deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday skipped the summons sent to him by the Punjab Police special investigation team (SIT) to appear for questioning in the Kotkapura firing case, citing his appearance in Ferozepur district’s Zira court in connection with a case registered for blocking a highway.

Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at the Zira court in Ferozepur district on Tuesday. (HT Photo)
Shiromani Akali Dal leader and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at the Zira court in Ferozepur district on Tuesday. (HT Photo)

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The SIT probing the post-sacrilege police firing incident at Kotkapura in 2015 had summoned Sukhbir to appear before it at Punjab Police Officers’ Institute, Sector 32, Chandigarh, in connection with two first information reports (FIRs) registered at the Kotkapura city police station on October 14, 2015, and August 7, 2018.

A SAD spokesperson said that due to the hearing at the Zira court, where his presence was required, Sukhbir did not appear before the SIT on Tuesday. He said that the SIT had been informed about this and another date had been sought.

Sukhbir, along with former Kotkapura SAD MLA Mantar Singh Brar, who is also an accused in the Kotkapura firing case, appeared in the Zira court in the highway blocking case.

In December 2017, nearly 200 SAD workers and leaders, including party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, were booked for blocking traffic during a protest in Ferozepur district. Badal along with the workers had spent a night at Manawala on the Harike-Patan road, demanding the then Congress government in Punjab withdraw “false” cases registered against SAD activists.

2 SITs have already questioned Sukhbir

This was the first time during the Aam Aadmi Party regime that Sukhbir was summoned by SIT for questioning in connection with the Kotkapura firing incident. Two SITs have questioned Sukhbir twice in this case. The SIT led by additional director general of police (ADGP) LK Yadav, which was formed in May last year, had questioned Sukhbir in June 2021.

The SIT led by former IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who is now an AAP MLA, had questioned the SAD chief in November 2018.

Last month, the SIT questioned former director general of police (DGP) Sumedh Singh Saini and filed a status report in Faridkot court.

On July 12, the trial court in Faridkot directed both SITs probing the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases to submit their status reports within a fortnight. Another SIT led by IG Naunihal Singh is probing the Behbal Kalan police firing incident.

Probe will take few months, court told

It is learnt that the SIT in the status report submitted to the court said it may take a few more months to complete the probe into the Kotkapura firing incident.

A chargesheet (now quashed) filed in the court by Kunwar Vijay in May 2019 had said that incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib were “a pre-planned handiwork of then deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, then DGP Saini and Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda”.

The Kunwar-led SIT had claimed that the post-sacrilege firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan were part of a conspiracy and directions came from the top.

On April 9, 2021, questioning the impartiality of Kunwar Vijay, the Punjab and Haryana high court had quashed all chargesheets filed by the SIT in the Kotkapura firing case. The court also directed the state government to reconstitute a new SIT without him. Following this, the then Congress government constituted an SIT led by ADGP LK Yadav in May 2021.


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

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