CHANDIGARH: With two years to go for the assembly polls, the Behbal Kalan and Bargari sacrilege and firing incidents are back on Punjab’s centre stage. With the issue having potential to further politically embarrass the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Badals and put them on the defensive, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh assured an SIT investigation into the incidents on Friday.
The state government had earlier been accused with going soft on the issue by it’s own leadership. Saying that the Supreme Court had vindicated the government’s stand by rejecting the CBI plea for permission to probe the cases, Amarinder assured the assembly that the SIT investigation into the Behbal Kalan and Bargari cases would be taken to its logical conclusion. In a major legal victory for the state, the SC on Thursday allowed it to complete its investigations into the sacrilege cases and subsequent police firings, which were handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) by the erstwhile Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP regime.
In view of the CBI’s failure to complete the probe, Punjab had announced that the cases would be taken back and investigated by itself. Two men, Krishna Bhagwan Singh and Gurjit Singh, were killed when police allegedly opened fire at a crowd protesting the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib near Behbal Kalan village of Kotkapura on October 14, 2015, when SAD-BJP Government was in power.
Former Sarpanch Surjit Singh the prime witness of the incident had died of a heart attack on January 15 this year. His family had alleged that in November 2018, a raid had been conducted by Punjab State Power Corporation Limited (PSPCL) in their home and a Rs 55,000 fine was imposed on them for power theft. Lakhwinder had alleged that Gurpreet Kangar was power minister at that time. Earlier a Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP joint delegation met the Punjab Governor demanding his direction to the state to register a criminal case against cabinet minister Gurpreet Singh Kangar, advisor to the Chief Minister Kushaldeep Singh Kikki Dhillon and others. “The prime witness of Behbal Kalan firing incident was mentally tortured and humiliated, which led to his death,” Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal alleged.