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CBI to probe Behbal Kalan, Kotkapura firing: Capt Amarinder Singh

The CM also announced enhanced compensations of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the two persons — Gurjit Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh — who were killed in the firing on October 14, 2015.

punjab Updated: Jul 31, 2018 09:11 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Behbal Kalan firing,Capt Amarinder Singh,Punjab chief minister
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh at the press meet in Chandigarh on Monday.(HT Photo)

The Punjab government on Monday recommended a CBI probe into the alleged police firing at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan during protests over the Bargari sacrilege incident three years ago.

Chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh also announced enhanced compensations of Rs 1 crore each to the families of the two persons — Gurjit Singh and Krishan Bhagwan Singh — who were killed in the firing on October 14, 2015. Amarinder said that the government decided to enhance the relief amounts from what was recommended by the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission. The government would also offer a job to one member of each of their families, said the chief minister.

The compensation for the seriously injured Beant Singh has been raised from Rs 35 lakh to Rs 50 lakh. The compensation for Ajit Singh, who has been incapacitated for life, has been raised from Rs 40 lakh to Rs 60 lakh. All others injured in the firings would be given Rs 10 lakh each, he said.

The Congress government had formed the commission in April last year to investigate the incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib, after rejecting the findings of the Zora Singh Commission set up by the previous Akali Dal-BJP government.

The sacrilege incidents had led to massive protests in different parts of the state. “The decision to hand over the further probe into the matter to the CBI against all those implicated by the commission has been taken to ensure an impartial and objective investigation... the role of all the police officers named by the commission will be probed by the CBI,” the chief minister told reporters here.

Replying to a question, Amarinder said very senior officers could be involved and it was felt that the matter was best investigated by the CBI. The CBI is already probing certain other cases of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib, handed over to it earlier by the state government.

The Ranjit Singh panel had submitted the first part of its report on June 30, 2018. The full report was still awaited.

“The report of the commission will be tabled in the assembly in its next session after the commission completes its proceedings,” he said. “The complete report, running into 182 pages with thousands of pages of evidence, will be in four parts and all four parts would be tabled in the House with the action-taken-report,” he said.

Reacting to CM’s announcements, AAP MLA HS Phoolka said: “These are delaying tactics. When commission has given findings against police officials, including the DGP, why is the government not taking any disciplinary action against them?”

Officials under scanner

Amarinder said the panel has also recommended action against the then Kotkapura SDM and police officials who, though not apparently guilty of any criminal act, were, nevertheless, seen to be responsible for the police action. As per the report, the officers (as per their places of posting then) under scanner are Moga SSP Charanjit Sharma, SP (D) Bikramjit Singh, inspector Pardip Singh, and SI Charanjeet Singh. The panel has recommended action against them for failing to carry out a fair probe.

The story so far

Oct 12, 2015: Torn pages of Sikh holy book found outside a gurdwara in Bargari village of Faridkot, panthic bodies start protest in Kotkapura

Oct 14: Alleged police firing on protesters in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan kills two persons, injures four

Oct 24: SAD-BJP govt transfers DGP Sumedh Singh Saini, sets up Zora Singh panel to look into incident

April 14, 2017: Amarinder govt sets up the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission to probe sacrilege incidents, rejects Zora panel findings

June 30: Commission submits its first report

First Published: Jul 30, 2018 13:30 IST