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Friday, Aug 23, 2019

CBI doesn’t find link between Dera chief’s film release and Bargari sacrilege

According to the RS Khatra-led special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police, the purported link was ‘vital’ in establishing the involvement of dera followers in the sacrilege incidents.

punjab Updated: Jul 30, 2019 12:08 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
File photo of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sacha Sauda
File photo of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, head of Dera Sacha Sauda (HT FIle )
         

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) did not find any link between the release of now jailed Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim-starrer film Messenger of God (MSG)-2 and the sacrilege incidents at Bargari village of Faridkot district in October 2015, as per its closure report filed in a Mohali court.

According to the RS Khatra-led special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police, the purported link was ‘vital’ in establishing the involvement of dera followers in the sacrilege incidents.

In the posters that appeared at Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages on September 24-25, 2015, it was threatened that the ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala in June that year would be torn if the film was not allowed to be released in Punjab.

The SIT then claimed to have “matched” the handwriting of the accused dera followers with the one on the posters. But the CBI said the handwriting samples of the accused it had sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) in Delhi did not match with the ones on the posters. The agency also analysed the call details and locations of mobile phones of all the suspects on the said dates but nothing was found against them.

“On September 24, 2015, a derogatory poster was found pasted outside the Bargari gurdwara around 7pm and at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala around 7am the next day.

The poster’s contents were an explicit warning to the Sikhs that they should not create any hindrance in the release of the dera head’s film. The content of posters indicated as if it was written by some dera follower,” said the CBI closure report.

“But the release of the movie was announced on the night of September 23, 2015, (a day before the posters appeared). In the posters, it was mentioned that if there would be any disturbance in the running of MSG-2, the torn pages would be scattered at Bargari, but the sacrilege took place on October 12, when MSG-2 movie was running well at Moga and Kotkapura,” reads the report.

It also contradicted the Khatra-led SIT’s claims about the involvement of dera followers Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu, who was killed in the Nabha jail recently, Sukhjinder Singh and Ranjeet Singh Bhola in affixing these posters at Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.

“On September 24, the day the posters appeared, the three were present at Fun Plaza Mall, Kotkapura, and were busy in the release of MSG-2 from evening till night whereas the derogatory posters appeared the same evening and the next morning,” said the report.

FINDINGS OF RS KHATRA-LED SIT

As per the Khatra-led SIT’s probe findings, also mentioned in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission (retd) report on the issue, the dera followers in September planned to paste posters to throw a challenge to the Sikh community three months after the theft of the bir from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.

“Also, the dera followers were upset with the government for not releasing MSG-2 in Punjab. To execute their plan, they procured A-4 paper along with Reynolds black marker pen from a shop at Bargari of Gopal, a member of a dera committee. Shakti Singh bought these papers and Bittu decided what will be written on the posters,” it said.

It further said Sukhjinder wrote on the posters at a Kotkapura ‘namcharcha ghar’ (prayer centre) and Bittu handed them over on October 24 to Baljeet Singh, who along with Shakti went on a motorcycle owned by Baleet to paste the same at Bargari.

“The same night, Sukhjinder and Ranjit Bhola pasted two posters at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala,” the special investigation team had claimed.

First Published: Jul 30, 2019 12:07 IST

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