In the next year i.e. 2022, assembly elections are to be held in many states, including Punjab. Now less than a year is left for the assembly elections in the state. In such a situation, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is under pressure and he is worried about an incident that happened in the year 2015, how he handled it during that time.
In the next year i.e. 2022, assembly elections are to be held in many states, including Punjab. Now less than a year is left for the assembly elections in the state. In such a situation, Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh is under pressure and he is worried about an incident that happened in the year 2015, how did he handle it during that time. Amarinder Singh does not want to give any chance to the opposition so that the power goes out of his hands. In fact, along with the alleged incidents of Guru Granth Sahib, police firing on those who opposed it in 2015 was allegedly fired. During that time when the SAD-BJP alliance was in power. The Punjab and Haryana High Court had allowed the quashing of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into one of the incidents where the police were accused of firing at protesters in Kotkapura in October 2015, but in this case the Chief Minister’s Opponents and supporters have increased his concern.
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Three incidents which are the subject of discussion in Punjab politics
Here are three incidents that are making headlines and are giving Chief Minister Amarinder Singh a headache. First on 1 June 2015, a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest scripture of the Sikhs, was stolen from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in Faridkot district. The Justice Ranjit Singh (Retd) Commission of Inquiry, constituted by the Congress government, in its report described the theft as an “event of unprecedented nature”. The report said the theft from an “unattended gurdwara” was “unimaginable, unimaginable and unexpected”. “
The report said the theft from the gurdwara was “unimaginable and unexpected”. “One can say without any fear that such incidents would not have happened even during the Mughal rule. This incident should have sounded alarm bells for all the people at the highest level of government…It is certainly not a routine crime. which should be dealt with regularly.In the second case, on September 25, 2015, two derogatory posters targeting Sikhs and some Sikh preachers were found in a mausoleum near the same Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village. The film ‘Messenger of God’ in which the Dera Sacha Sauda chief played the role of a hero. The commission in its inquiry report said that the posters had threatened that the holy Guru Granth Sahib would be thrown on the streets.
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The panel also noted that on September 24, another poster was seen in nearby Bargari and removed by the village gurudwara manager. The poster challenged the police to trace the copy of the stolen Guru Granth Sahib, which was claimed to be in the village. The panel said, “Even clear evidence was not followed. The only thing the police claim to do is to capture the handwriting of people in and around the villages and compare them with the handwriting on the posters.In the third case, on October 12, torn pages of the Guru Granth Sahib, revered by Sikhs as the living Guru, were found scattered early in the morning in front of the Bargari village gurdwara and on a nearby road. On May 16 this year, the SIT led by IG Surinder Singh Parmar arrested six Dera followers in cases of theft and tearing of the Guru Granth Sahib. He is currently in judicial custody.
On July 4, 2019, the CBI had filed its final report in the case. In October 2015, the previous Akali government handed over these cases to the CBI. One of the prime suspects, a Dera follower named Mohinderpal Bittu, was killed in Nabha jail in June 2019 before the final CBI report. Following directions from the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the CBI earlier this year handed over files related to incidents of theft and tearing down of the Guru Granth Sahib to the Punjab Police.
Incident of Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura and its present status
After the incident of theft of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari, the protesters sat on a dharna at Kotkapura Chowk in the evening. The police managed to persuade the protesting leaders to end the sit-in on the morning of October 13, 2015 as the protesting leaders gave arrest after police assurances of arresting the perpetrators. However, the agitators again gathered at Kotkapura Chowk before noon and complained that they were let off without mentioning their arrest in the records. The standoff escalated on the morning of October 14, 2015, with police using force to disperse the protesters, resulting in injuries to both sides. A case was registered in Kotkapura under various sections including attempt to murder. A SIT headed by ADGP Vigilance Bureau LK Yadav constituted on May 7 is probing the Kotkapura firing incident. An FIR was registered for the same incident on August 7, 2018 after the submission of the Ranjit Singh Commission report, which had blamed the police.
The investigation handed over to the SIT on April 9 in the case
The probe was handed over to the SIT after the Punjab and Haryana High Court on April 9 quashed the chargesheet filed by the then IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who headed the SIT set up by Captain Amarinder government to probe the Kotkapura case and probe the case. Yadav-led SIT has already questioned Akali chief and then CM Parkash Singh Badal and then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini among others.
On 14 October 2015, two protesters were also killed in alleged police firing at Behbal Kalan. An SIT headed by Ludhiana Range Inspector General Naunihal Singh has been assigned to investigate the Behbal Kalan police firing incident where two FIRs were registered against two protesters, one dated October 14, 2015 (under various sections of the Indian Penal Code). 307 (including attempt to murder), and sections of the Arms Act and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act) and others dated October 21, 2015 for murder and under sections of the Arms Act. The SIT was formed on May 15 after the voluntary retirement of Kunwar Vijay, who was probing the case. A source said, the SIT led by Naunihal was “studying the document in detail” so as to “set up a stage to initiate investigation”. The source said that the SIT was receiving the issues of the chargesheet filed in the Behbal Kalan case and the court had taken up the matter by the accused The applications made were withheld.
The impact of these events on the politics of Punjab
Even after six years of the incident, this issue is hot in the politics of Punjab. Amidst the ongoing squabble within the Congress leadership in Punjab, the Congress high command has asked CM Amarinder Singh to fulfill his promise to nab the culprits in cases of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and police firing. Nothing significant can be achieved before the code of conduct comes into force ahead of the elections due in early 2022.
Amarinder Singh and Sukhbir Badal’s side on events
Badal, on the other hand, has launched a counter-attack. He termed the Kunwar Vijay-led SIT probe and the chargesheet in the Kotkapura incident a “political drama”. Though the court’s order was limited to the Kotkapura incident, Badal and the Akali leadership are terming the full investigation of all five cases a “conspiracy to destabilize the then Akali government”. The Akali Dal was accused of giving a controversial pardon to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on September 24, 2015, for “political gains” by Sikh clergy.The clemency was revoked by the chiefs of the five Takhts following massive protests from the Sikh community. The head of the highest temporary seat of Sikhs, the Akal Takht, and the other two Takhts at Anandpur Sahib and Talwandi Sabo in Punjab are appointed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee, a Sikh body controlled by the Badal-led SAD.
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