A Punjab Police special investigation team (SIT) questioned Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar on Wednesday in connection with an alleged deal mediated by him between now-jailed Dera Sachha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and former Punjab deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in 2015.
According to police sources, the questioning began around 9.45 am and the exercise was video recorded.
After landing at the Chandigarh international airport on a chartered flight from Mumbai on Wednesday morning, Akshay drove straight to the state police headquarters in Sector 9 in a luxury SUV.
While coming out of the airport, he told the media in Punjabi: “Tussi vi aao, naal challo (You too, come along).”
Inside the headquarters, Akshay was reportedly grilled for almost two hours regarding the alleged deal, on his relationship with Ram Rahim and Badal and other aspects of the case.
Even though media was waiting outside, the police managed to avoid bringing the actor in front of them as they took away Akshay through a different gate of the building after the questioning.
The Punjab Police SIT is probing the 2015 sacrilege of Sikh holy book Guru Granth Sahib and subsequent firing on protesters that had left two persons dead in Behbal Kalan village near Kotkapura town in Faridkot district. The SIT had earlier this month summoned the actor as a witness in connection with his alleged role in brokering a Rs 100-crore deal between Ram Rahim and Sukhbir Badal in Mumbai in 2015 just days before the release of a film of Gurmeet Ram Rahim.
The dera chief was convicted of rape in 2017 and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
While Akshay had been asked to appear in Amritsar, the actor moved a request on Tuesday pleading that the questioning be allowed in Chandigarh.
He has denied all the allegations against him.
“I have never ever met Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in my life, anywhere. I learnt from social media at some point that Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh resided for a while at some place in my locality Juhu in Mumbai but we never ever crossed each other’s path,” Akshay had tweeted after he was summoned by the Punjab Police.
— Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) November 12, 2018
On the other hand, Sukhbir Badal said on Tuesday: “I have never met Akshay Kumar outside Punjab.”
Badal, who was questioned by the SIT on Monday, alleged that the Amarinder Singh government was indulging in “political vendetta”.
On November 16, former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was also questioned by the SIT headed by Additional Director General of Police Pramod Kumar and Inspector General Kunwar Vijay Pratap.
He told the police that that he had not ordered firing on Sikh protesters agitating against the sacrilege incidents in October 2015.
Amarinder Singh had earlier said that his government had no role in the summoning of the Badals and the actor by the SIT.
The SIT was set up by the Amarinder-led Congress government in September this year to probe the sacrilege cases and the firing ordered on those protesting the sacrilege in October 2015 when the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government headed by Parkash Singh Badal was in power in the state.
(With agency inputs)