Three national committee members of dera nominated in sacrilege case
Three national committee members of dera nominated in sacrilege case

Three national committee members of dera nominated in sacrilege case

Already declared POs, they had instructed dera men to put up derogatory posters near Bargari gurdwara
By Parteek Singh Mahal
PUBLISHED ON MAY 27, 2021 12:54 AM IST

The special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 sacrilege cases on Wednesday named three absconding members of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda’s national committee as accused in the case relating to putting up of derogatory posters near the Bargari village gurdwara.

Three Haryana residents Sandeep Bareta, Pardeep Kaler and Harsh Dhuri have been nominated as conspirators in the case. The SIT said two derogatory posters were pasted near the Bargari gurdwara on the intervening night of September 24 and 25, 2015, by the accused dera followers on their directions.

The SIT had on May 21 nominated the trio in another case of sacrilege wherein torn pages of ‘bir ‘were found scattered in Bargari .

Remand of 2 dera men extended

Meanwhile, the police remand of two dera followers, Shakti Singh and Ranjit Singh, alias Bhola, arrested on May 16 in the Bargari sacrilege case, was extended by two days by the court of additional chief judicial magistrate Sanjeev Kundi.

The probe has found that derogatory posters were put up by the dera followers and they also have a witness to prove this, the SIT told the court. “Gopal Das, who runs a stationery shop, identified the papers and markers that were purchased from his shop to make posters before the incident took place in 2015,” the SIT claimed, adding that two cars used in the crime were also recovered from the possession of accused dera followers.

Dera committee members missing link in case

The three absconding members of the dera’s national committee are the missing link in three sacrilege incidents that sparked off state-wide protests in 2015. The teams probing the cases claim that the instructions to execute sacrilege at Bargari (Faridkot), Malke (Moga) and Gurusar (Bathinda) were given by Bareta, Kler and Dhuri to the district dera committee members.

In July 2020, The SIT had named Breta, Kler and Dhuri as accused in a case relating to the theft of a “bir” (copy) of Guru Granth Sahib from a gurdwara on June 1, 2015. On October 12, 2015, torn pages of the “bir” were found scattered in front of a gurdwara at Bargari village.

Torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were also found at Malke village in Moga district in November 2015 and Gurusar (Bhagta) village in Bathinda district in October 2015. The SIT led by former IGP Ranbir Singh Khatra had nominated them accused in both cases in 2018. They have already been declared proclaimed offenders in these three cases.

“The trio had met Mohinder Pal Bittu, who was killed in Nabha jail in 2019, and instructed him to steal the bir. Similarly, in Moga sacrilege case, they gave instructions to dera state committee members Pirthi Singh and Jatindervir, alias Jimmy, after which sacrilege was done by a dera follower at Malke and Gurusar villages. Once arrested, the trio can reveal names of more people involved in the case,” said an SIT official.

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