Punjab SIT summons Sukhbir Badal in 2015 Kotkapura firing incident

In a major political development, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the 2015 Kotkapura firing case following sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib has summoned then former Deputy Chief Minister and current Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal in Chandigarh on August 30.

The SIT led by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) L.K. Yadav, earlier questioned former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini.

However, SAD leaders denied that Badal, who was the home minister of Punjab in 2015, has been summoned for questioning.

Badal has been asked to appear at the Punjab Police Officers Institute in Sector 32 in Chandigarh at 10.30 a.m.

Saini was removed from the top police post by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2015 following incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and subsequent violence in the state in which the police force was accused of excesses that left two people dead.

Justice Ranjit Singh (retd), who headed the commission appointed by the previous Congress government into the alleged incidents of sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent police firing on protesters, has placed the then Chief Minister, the SAD patriarch, and then DGP Saini in dock.

Also, he castigated the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda, whose chief and self-styled godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is currently serving a 20-year jail sentence for raping two of his disciples and a life term for a journalist’s killing, for the incident of sacrilege.

Justice Singh made these comments in January on the release of his 423-page book ‘The Sacrilege’ based on his inquiry when he was heading the government set up commission.

“Inference on the basis of material and evidence is against both then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and then Director General of Police (DGP) Saini for not playing active role (with the subsequent police firing on protesters after the sacrilege incident),” Justice Singh had told IANS at the book launch here.

The incident of sacrilege took place in Behbal Kalan village of Faridkot district and the subsequent police firing on protesters that claimed two lives was raked up by the Congress against the SAD-BJP combine government in the 2017 assembly polls.

Even in 2022 polls, the incidents continued to rock the state’s political sphere as the successive governments are under fire for failing to deliver justice in the cases.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 9, 2021, quashed the previous police SIT report that gave a clean chit to the Badals and directed the state government to set up a new team.

The high court had not only quashed the probe but also raised doubts over the methods and ordered reconstitution of the SIT probing the case without IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who is now an AAP legislator.

Following the court directive, the then Congress government led by Captain Amarinder Singh constituted another SIT on May 7 to probe the incident.

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