Once confidant of Amarinder, ex-IPS officer joins AAP (Ld)


Once ‘confidant’ of Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, a former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap, who was handling the sensitive probe into police firing after the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015 when the Akali Dal-BJP government was at the helm, 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.

“Now we are going to start a revolution from land of holy city. People’s power must go to the people. We are here to establish new political sphere where we will be instrumental in bringing reforms,” he said.

Kunwar Vijay Pratap took voluntary retirement in April two days after the high court quashed the report of the Special Investigating Team (SIT), led by him, into the sacrilege incidents.

The court directed the state government to reconstitute a new SIT without him on board.

Playing a religious card after his induction, Kejriwal said the party’s chief ministerial candidate in the state assembly polls slated in early 2022 would be a local from the Sikh community.

Parkash Singh 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, the chief minister had refused to accept the resignation letter of Kunwar Vijay Pratap seeking premature retirement from service.

Declining the voluntary retirement plea, the chief minister said that he was a highly competent and efficient officer whose services were needed in the border state, especially at a time when Punjab is faced with various internal and external security threats.

The state needs the expertise and experience of the officer, who has contributed exceptional service to Punjab Police in various important positions, the chief minister had said, describing Vijay Pratap Singh as a skilled, capable and courageous officer with an exemplary track record.

Referring to the high court’s order in the Kotakpura case probe, the chief minister had said the officer and his team have done an excellent job of expeditiously investigating the Kotakpura case, which the Akalis had tried hard to stall for the past four years.

Blaming his own government for ‘weak’ investigation into the sensitive cases, former cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu has been demanding to make the SIT report public.