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SAD cries conspiracy as Ranjit Singh commission puts Parkash Singh Badal in dock

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is in the dock following the release of the Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) commission report which said that he had knowledge of the 2015 police firing in Punjab on anti-sacrilege protestors.

SNS | New Delhi |

Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is in the dock following the release of the Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) commission report which said that he had knowledge of the 2015 police firing in Punjab on anti-sacrilege protestors.

The supplementary report submitted on 16 August said that Badal, who was then the Chief Minister of Punjab, was “aware” of the police action to disperse the protesters at Kotkapura in Faridkot by using force.

In the five-page supplementary report, the one-man commission said, “It is now clear that the (then) Chief Minister and the CMO were apparently kept in the loop about the action proposed by the police and the action finally taken at Kotkapura.”

The commission noted, “There is sufficient material available on record in the form of telephone calls between the Deputy Commissioner, Mantar Singh Brar MLA, Gagandeep Brar (the then Principal secretary to CM)…The chain is thus complete and clear that the chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was not only in touch with district administration but was in touch with DGP as well and was quite aware of the situation developing at Kotkapura and also about proposed action by police.”

The commission held the police guilty of using “unprovoked, unwarranted and uncalled for” force at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.

According to the report, the police opened fire at Behbal Kalan “without warning and without taking permission from civil authorities”. Two persons were killed in the incident.

The Congress government, led by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, formed the commission to investigate the various incidents of sacrilege of the religious texts including at village Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, Bargari and firing incidents at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.

As per the recommendations of the commission, the state government has issued show cause notices to several senior police officials including the then Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini (now retired) and then ADGP Law and Order Rohit Chaudhary.

The chief secretary has also been directed to take appropriate disciplinary action against all civil officials as per recommendations of the commission within 90 days.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has repeatedly assured that those found guilty of trying to create religious disharmony in the state through such actions would be punished. He has already announced a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the firing incidents.

The Shiromani Akali Dal has already rejected the commission report and accused the commission of acting as ‘Congress Sarkari Commission’.

The party’s legislators led by party President Sukhbir Singh Badal had protested outside the Assembly and flashed the report that had been leaked before it was submitted to the state government.

The report was tabled in the state Assembly on Monday and a debate on the report was held in the Assembly on Tuesday.

Following a heated debate in the Assembly today, the Akali leaders staged a walkout.

Congress leader and minister in Punjab cabinet Navjot Singh Sidhu compared SAD to General Dyer and Amarinder Singh challenged the Akali Dal to stay in the Assembly and not run away from debate.

“The conspiracy hatched during the @Akali_Dal_ regime by desecrating the holy Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji will be exposed in front of the people of Punjab today through the live proceedings of the House. I dare SAD leadership to not run away from debate. Truth always prevails,” the Punjab CM said.

In response, Sukhbir Singh Badal accused the Chief Minister of not allocating enough time to his party.

“I dare you @capt_amarinder to let us have equal time as you have siphoned off in the Assembly & then let there be a debate. You have run away from the debate by limiting us to only 14 mins while you lay allegations against us for 1:20 hrs.Let’s have equal time & see who runs away,” he wrote on Twitter.

 

Earlier on Monday, the SAD chief had accused the CM of conspiracy and claimed that the report was vetted.

“@capt_amarinder – you and your ‘jundli’ stand exposed. Your conspiracy with bogus Jathedar Daduwal and retired judge Ranjit Singh to weaken SAD and divide Sikh Panth by fabricating evidence is now before the people. Pl tell why you met Daduwal at CMR at mid-night today,” he said.

“Captain Amarinder is not only encouraging radical elements but also consorting with them. Call details prove how Congress minister, radical leader and Sukhpal Khaira teamed up to vet Ranjit Singh report along with the retired judge at radical leader’s farmhouse,” Badal alleged.

 

“I released the call details to prove CM @capt_amarinder, his ministers as well as Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh were consorting with radical ‘sarkari’ jathedars to vet the Ranjit Singh Commisison report including a late night meeting held at the CM’s residence last night,” he said.

“I also presented proofs about the secret meeting of CM with radical Baljit Singh Daduwal last night, apart from the transactions amounting to Rs 16.70 crore recorded in Daduwal’s accounts. Since Daduwal is not running an industry it proves that Pakistan ISI is funding him,” said the son of Parkash Singh Badal.

(With inputs from agencies.)