CHANDIGARH: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday warned of strong action against the
culprits behind the Bargari and other cases of desecration of the holy scriptures, saying the perpetrators of these crimes and the subsequent incidents of police firing would not be spared.
Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced a memorial in or around Bargari for those who lost their lives or were injured in the unprovoked police firing on peaceful protestors in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.
Recalling his earlier visit to the region, which was rocked by a spate of sacrilege incidents and the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing incidents, Rahul said those who insulted religious scriptures did
not deserve any mercy.
Addressing a rally in Bargari in support of the party’s Faridkot candidate Mohd Sadique, Rahul Gandhi said, "those guilty of the heinous crime would not be spared and will be punished."
Ridiculing Prakash Singh Badal’s claim of Bargari and other sacrilege cases being bygones, Amarinder said people never have, and never will forget the desecration of their holy scriptures, and the Akali supremo should be ashamed of even suggesting the same.
The Sikhs had not forgotten, in 500 years, the sacrifice of any member of their community, he pointed out, adding that it was shameful that Badal, at the age of 93, had not yet realised this stark truth.
"How can anyone forget what happened during the rule of the Badals? Not one or two but 58 Sri Guru Grant Sahibs were desecrated, not to count the Gutka Sahibs, Bhagwad Geeta, the Bible and the Quran which were burnt or torn,” he lashed out.
What happened in those months, including at Bargari, and the incidents of police firing on those protesting peaceful against sacrilege, right under the nose of Badal is not something that Punjab can
ever forget, said Amarinder, adding that the firing could not have taken place without Badal’s knowledge and he was clearly to blame.
Badal, and the rest of the Akalis, know what had happened was wrong and that the people had neither forgotten nor forgiven them for the same, he said, adding that this was the reason why they were
now running around desperately for votes.
Asserting that Punjab would never forget what had happened here, the Chief Minister said he would form a committee of local residents to decide what kind of memorial they wanted to be constructed and his government would have it built in remembrance of those who became innocent victims of the Akali crimes.
Later addressing a rally in Ludhiana in support of party candidate Ravneet Singh Bitu, while reiterating employment generation and farmer welfare as the key priorities of the Congress, Rahul said,"India cannot challenge China without 'Made in Ludhiana', which has to be an integral part of `Make in India’, without reviving small and medium businesses even employment generation could not be successful."