SIT probing actor Akshay Kumar’s role in alleged meeting between Ram Rahim, Sukhbir Badal to get his movie cleared
Actor Akshay Kumar has denied being privy to any purported meeting between Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal when he appeared before SIT in Chandigarh on November 21.Updated: Dec 13, 2018 11:12 IST
The special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 police firing cases is looking into Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar’s alleged role in facilitating a purported meeting between Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim and Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal to get his film ‘Singh is Bling’ cleared in the wake of the Akal Takht’s objection to it.
Akshay had denied being privy to any such meeting when he appeared before SIT in Chandigarh on November 21.
‘Singh is Bling’, which was released on October 2, 2015, had faced objections from the Akal Takht as well as the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) for some controversial dialogues that allegedly hurt the religious sentiments of Sikhs. One of the dialogues in the film referred to the Golden Temple, liquor and meat in the same breath.
Akshay’s production company, Grazing Goat Pictures, and film producer Ashvini Yardi were asked to halt the release until they got clearance from SGPC.
Gurmeet Ram Rahim’s movie, MSG-II, which was released on September 18, had also faced objections from SGPC and was screened in Punjab on September 25 a day after the sect head secured pardon from the Akal Takht in a blasphemy case. The purported meeting between Sukhbir Badal and the sect head also took place on September 24.
Inspector general of police (IGP) Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, a SIT member, confirmed the development saying they are looking into every aspect while investigating the case.
Sources said though SIT had some clues about this even before summoning Akshay, the fresh development came after it recorded the statement of former MP Rajdev Singh Khalsa, on December 7. He was the Malwa president of the Rashtriya Sikh Sangat, a wing of RSS, till 2015.
“Dera Sirsa chief lived in Akshay’s neighbourhood in Mumbai. Since it faced objection from the Sikh bodies, MSG-2 couldn’t be released in Punjab without getting pardon to the dera chief. Moreover, Sukhbir was eying the dera votes. Akshay has a warm relation with former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir as he was called several times for the Kabaddi World Cups organised by then Akali government. The self-interest of all of them led to a compromise,” Khalsa is learnt to have told SIT.
He also told SIT that MSG 2’s release in Punjab caused widespread protests by the Sikh community in the state, leading to the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib on October 12 that year.
The SIT had questioned Akshay after his name was mentioned in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report which referred to a letter from former MLA Harbans Jalal who claimed that the meeting took place at the actor’s flat in Mumbai.