Badal questioned over 2015 police firing incident


The Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to probe the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident has questioned former five-time Chief Minister and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patron Parkash Singh Badal at his residence in Chandigarh for three hours.

The SIT team, led by ADGP L.K. Yadav, quizzed the former Chief Minister.

Earlier, the SIT had rescheduled his questioning after Badal expressed inability to appear before the panel on June 16, citing ill-health and his advance age.

Badal was the chief minister of Punjab when the police had opened fire on protesters in Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, killing two and injuring others after alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village in Faridkot district took place.

The SIT is to ascertain as to who gave the orders to open fire, whether the cops fired in self-defence and if standard operating procedure was followed.

After the high court order on April 9, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has constituted a new SIT.

In his two-page response to the summon from the SIT investigating the handling of the Kotkapura incidents by the previous government, Badal last week said, “the entire process of investigation already stands brazenly compromised through blatant and unapologetic political interference and it reeks too strongly of political vendetta to inspire any confidence about a fair process of law being followed.”

In spite of this, Badal had said, he will “cooperate fully” with the investigative process.

The former chief minster had also pointed out that the very need for the present SIT has “arisen out of the brazen politicisation of the case by the previous SIT”.

In an interesting development in the case, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap, who was handling the probe into police firing after the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib, on Monday joined Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in presence of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal.

The induction ceremony was held in the holy city of Amritsar, some 300 km from the state capital, where Kejriwal came on a day-long visit.

After joining the politics, Kunwar Vijay Pratap blamed the accused of the sacrilege case for dictating the state government.