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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Moga sacrilege: 2 dera men held for bid to influence witness

chandigarh Updated: Sep 24, 2019 07:19 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

The district police have booked four Dera Sacha Sauda followers and arrested two of them for trying to influence a witness in the 2015 Malke sacrilege case.

While Sukhmander Singh and Gurmail Singh of Malke village in Moga have been arrested, Mithu Singh and Amardeep Singh, also from the same village, are on the run, said the police. Sukhmander and Gurmail have been sent to two-day police custody.

On November 4, 2015, torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found scattered on the streets of Malke village in Moga district, triggering statewide protests. A case under Sections 295A (deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) was registered against unidentified persons at the Samalsar police station in Moga.

Moga senior superintendent of police (SSP) Amarjit Singh Bajwa said a hunt has been launched to arrest Mithu and Amardeep. A case was registered under Sections 116 (abetment of offence punishable with imprisonment if offence be not committed), 193 (false evidence), 195-A (threatening any person to give false evidence), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) at the Samalsar police station at Moga on the complaint of Sewak Singh, a witness in the case, he said.

A probe was ordered by the SSP after Sewak alleged that two dera followers tried to bribe him for giving statement in the favour of the accused.

“Mithu’s brother Gurmail and Amardeep’s father Sukhmander threatened to kill me and my family members if I don’t change my statement in the court. Later, they handed gave me an undated cheque for ₹2 lakh and promised another cheque of the same amount if I turned hostile. But I refused to budge,” Sewak stated in his complaint. The cheque was also attached with the complaint.

On October 29, 2018, the special investigation team (SIT) led by deputy inspector general (DIG), Ludhiana range, Ranbir Singh Khatra arrested Prithi Singh, member of the dera state committee and a resident of Baghapurana in Moga district, Mithu Singh and Ramandeep Singh, both resident of Malke village in Moga.

Later on December 1, 2018, police arrested Satnam Singh of Baghapurana and Davinder Singh of Harie Wala. A chargesheet was filed against five dera followers in a court on December 27 and charges were framed against them by a Moga court last month.

Three accused Sandeep Bretta, Pardeep Kler and Harsh Dhuri have been declared proclaimed offenders in the case.

First Published: Sep 24, 2019 00:58 IST

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