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Cracked case during SAD term, but stopped from nabbing dera men: SIT head told Ranjit Singh panel

Justice Singh was tasked by the Captain Amarinder Singh government last year to probe the Bargari sacrilege and subsequent firing incidents in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district.

punjab Updated: Aug 02, 2018 10:10 IST
Sukhdeep Kaur
Sukhdeep Kaur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Ranjit Singh panel,dera,Justice Ranjit Singh Commission
Police taking a Dera Sacha Sauda follower accused of sacrilege to a Moga court. (HT file )

The Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report has revealed that the Punjab Police had solved the 2015 sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari, but was stopped from nabbing the accused belonging to Dera Sacha Sauda by then Shiromani Akali Dal- BJP government, according to government sources privy to the report that has set off political tremors in the state.

Justice Singh was tasked by the Captain Amarinder Singh government last year to probe the Bargari sacrilege and subsequent firing incidents in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district.

Sources said deputy inspector general Ranbir Singh Khatra, head of special investigation team (SIT) probing sacrilege incidents, has told the panel that they had cracked the Bargari desecration case during the previous Parkash Singh Badal regime. In his statement, Khatra has said the SIT had “reached the point of filing its report and making arrests but was asked to stop”.

The Badal government’s inaction on SIT findings was apparently influenced by the Sirsa-based Dera’s political clout in Malwa region. Soon after the sacrilege incident, the Badal government had set up an SIT, but later transferred the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation(CBI) which is still probing it.

On June 9, the Khatra-led SIT cracked the Bargari case by arresting three dera followers. On the basis of evidence collected by the SIT, the CBI had taken them into custody.

Radical’s pressure

The timing of the arrests, however, raise questions whether the Captain Amarinder Singh government acted under pressure of Sikh radicals who have been on an indefinite sit-in at Bargari since June 1, demanding that the Justice Ranjit Singh panel report be made public.

Meanwhile , Akalis are learnt to be getting battle-ready and “collecting evidence” on what went into making of the report. “Badal and Sukhbir have already rejected the commission, saying it will do the bidding of Amarinder. We will react at the right time after securing a copy of the report,” SAD spokesman Mahesh Inder Grewal said.

‘Take executive action, punish guilty’

Kendriya Guru Singh Sabha head Gurpreet Singh has demanded executive action on the Ranjit Singh panel’s recommendations.

“I want to urge chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh not to delay the matter any further. Take executive action and punish the guilty. There’s no point giving further inquiry to the CBI,” said Singh, talking to the media. Others present on the occasion were Sikh historian Dr Gurdarshan Singh Dhillon and retired IAS officer Gurtej Singh.

First Published: Aug 02, 2018 10:10 IST