Sacrilege probe finds Punjab policemen guilty on firing on protesters

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Chandigarh, July 1 (IANS) Punjab Police officials have been held guilty by a commission of inquiry set up by the Punjab government to probe incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing which left two persons dead.

Sources in the Punjab government said on Friday that the commission has recommended to the government to take action against the police officials found guilty of ordering firing on people protesting against the sacrilege incidents in Faridkot district in October last year.

The “unprovoked” firing incident took place in Behbal Kalan village.

The commission, headed by retired High Court judge Zora Singh, was set up in October last year. It submitted its report to the Punjab government on Thursday.

The commission recommended aid of Rs 25 lakh each to the family of killed protesters and Rs 10 lakh each to those injured.

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With growing number of incidents of sacrilegeAof Guru Granth Sahib in various parts of the state, the Punjab government had, in November last year, approved an amendment to the relevant section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) under which anyone indulging in desecration of the Sikh holy book would face punishment of life imprisonment.

Incidents of desecration of the Sikh holy book led to violence and widespread protests in Punjab in September and October, putting the Punjab government headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on the backfoot.

Two people were killed and several others injured in violent clashes during protests against sacrilege incidents. The protests brought Punjab to a standstill in October with radical Sikhs and others blocking highways and roads for days together.

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