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Malerkotla Quran sacrilege accused was ex-pracharak of RSS, says Ranjit Singh panel

RSS says it is a ‘malicious agenda’ to malign the organisation’s image.

punjab Updated: Aug 17, 2018 09:04 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Malerkotla Quran sacrilege,Quran,Quran sacrilege
A bus torched during a flare-up after a Quran sacrilege incident at Malerkotla in 2016(HT File )

The Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission report on sacrilege incidents in Punjab has claimed that the main accused in the Malerkotla Quran sacrilege case of 2016 was a former pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), the BJP ideological mentor.

In the first report submitted by the one-man panel to the state government on June 30, which was leaked on Tuesday, Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) has stated that one of the accused in the case, Vijay Kumar (a Delhi-based businessman) was found to be an old associate of RSS and had even remained a pracharak (full-time volunteer) at New Delhi from 1999 to 2001.

Notably, the commission’s first report was about the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari and the police firing in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan. However, the panel suddenly mentions the Quran sacrilege incident on page 181 where it gives the details about the investigation into the Bargari incident by special investigating team (SIT) of Punjab Police, led by DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra.

Over the sacrilege incident in Malerkotla, the commission submitted a detailed report to chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday.

According to the detailed investigations done by the Sangrur police in the case, in which Delhi AAP MLA Naresh Yadav was also arrested and later released on bail, Vijay was not related to any organisation and masterminded the sacrilege of Quran because he wanted to “avenge the terrorist attacks in Dinanagar and Pathankot”.

The AAP MLA had promised to give Vijay ‘one crore’ for the sacrilege, the police had claimed.

The commission also told the state government to inquire into Vijay’s business transactions.

“By chance, the Commission came to learn about the unaccounted money coming to the bank account of Vijay Kumar in lakhs from unknown sources. Income tax returns by him were for hardly any substantial amounts as compared with the transaction noticed in the bank accounts,” says the panel report.

RSS also finds mention in the statement by former jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, Giani Kewal Singh, who told the commission about the “involvement of RSS, Dera Sacha Sauda or some agency of the government” in the incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.

RSS questions panel’s intentions

When contacted, RSS state vice-chief Vinay Sharma questioned the intentions of the panel. “I can say with all authority that Vijay Kumar has never remained Pracharak for RSS in New Delhi. I cannot say whether he ever attended the RSS shakha or not, but he was never a prominent worker. All this is a malicious agenda to malign the organisation’s image,” Sharma said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2018 09:00 IST