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Three-day monsoon session of Punjab assembly from August 24

The session, the fifth since the Congress government took charge last year, will begin next Friday afternoon with obituary references.

punjab Updated: Aug 16, 2018 22:48 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
punjab,punjab news,Punjab CM
(HT File )

The three-day monsoon session of the Punjab Vidhan Sabha will begin on August 24 with the findings of the Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) commission on sacrilege cases topping the government’s agenda.

A decision to hold the session from August 24 to 28 was taken by the state council of ministers at a meeting chaired by chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Thursday.

The session, the fifth since the Congress government took charge last year, will begin next Friday afternoon with obituary references. Legislative business will be transacted in the morning and evening sessions on August 27.

“The House will adjourn sine-die after the proposed legislative business on August 28,” said a spokesperson of the chief minister’s office (CMO). However, the final programme will be decided by the assembly’s business advisory committee.

Justice Ranjit Singh gives final report

The session dates were decided by the state cabinet shortly after Justice Singh, a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, handed over his final report on sacrilege cases to Capt Amarinder who directed the home department to take action. The reports, along with the action taken report (ATR), will be tabled in the session.

The commission had on June 30 submitted part 1 of the report to the government on the incidents of sacrilege at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, Bargari, Gurusar and Mall Ke villages besides the firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura. The final report has three more parts. While part 2 deals with the incidents of sacrilege in SAS Nagar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Rupnagar and Patiala districts, part 3 is related to incidents in SBS Nagar (Nawanshahr) and Hoshiarpur. Part 4 relates to sacrilege incidents in Amritsar, Bathinda, Barnala, Faridkot, Fazilka, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Mansa, Moga, Sangrur, Sri Muktsar Sahib and Tarn Taran.

Congress to corner SAD

The Congress is planning to use the commission’s reports to try and corner the opposition Shiromani Akali Dal, which has been blamed for the incidents of desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in 2016 that had rocked the then SAD-BJP government headed by Parkash Singh Badal. However, it had to face embarrassment when the 192-page first report, which had been termed highly confidential by none other than the chief minister, got leaked and was shared on social media.

Acting on the commission’s first report, the government on July 30 handed over the probe into the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing that followed the Bargari sacrilege to the Central Bureau of Investigation. Later, the state police included the names of four police personnel in the FIR registered in 2015 in the Behbal Kalan firing. In accordance with the panel’s recommendations, the roles of five other police officers will be investigated, the spokesperson said. As for the Kotkapura firing, a case under Sections 307/323/341/148/149 of Indian Penal Code and 27/54/59 of the Arms Act was registered on August 7, as per the commission’s recommendation.

The commission was set up by the Amarinder government in April 2017 to investigate the incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and other religious texts. The government rejected the Zora Singh Commission, set up by the erstwhile SAD-BJP government, terming it inconclusive.

First Published: Aug 16, 2018 13:00 IST