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Harpal Singh Cheema visits Bargari protesters, claims Ranjit panel report leaked to benefit SAD

Sources said that with the visit, Cheema intended to outdo the ousted leader of opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who has visited the protesters three times.

punjab Updated: Aug 26, 2018 00:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bargari (Faridkot)
Harpal Singh Cheema,Bargari protesters,Ranjit panel
Sources said that with the visit, Cheema intended to outdo the ousted leader of opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who has visited the protesters three times. (HT photo)

Punjab leader of opposition and AAP leader Harpal Singh Cheema visited the site of the protest of parallel jathedars protest at Bargari in Faridkot on Saturday. This was Cheema’s first visit to the protesters, who have been on a stir since June 1, seeking action in the Bargari sacrilege case as well into the death of two protesters in alleged police firing at nearby Behbal Kalan village.

Sources said that with the visit, Cheema intended to outdo the ousted leader of opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira, who has visited the protesters three times. Faridkot Member of Parliament Sadhu Singh and four other AAP MLA accompanied Cheema and also extended their support. Cheema assured protesters that his party would make every possible effort to bring justice in Bargari and Behbal Kalan cases.

“The highly-confidential Ranjit panel report got leaked as part of conspiracy to benefit the SAD, so that it can prepare its defence, citing the example of the U-turn by some witnesses,” he said.

“How the report leaked is a matter of probe. This has, however, given time to the accused to save their skin. The government has remained mum over the leak,” he added.

Cheema repeated his demand of the live telecast of assembly session so that people know about the stand of every party on the Bargari issue. “The SAD will use every possible trick in the book to sidetrack the debate inside the House,” he claimed.

Cheema also assured his party’s full support to an amendment in the law, seeking life imprisonment in sacrilege cases and also demanded that government must constitute special courts for sacrilege cases. Parallel jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Baljit Singh Daduwal, said, “We are ready for investigation by any premier agency to find if we have any links as former deouty chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has alleged.”

Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who was also in Faridkot on Saturday to attend the ‘bhog’ ceremony of former president Giani Zail Singh’s son, Joginder Singh, also endorsed the demand of a live telecast.

First Published: Aug 26, 2018 00:03 IST