CHANDIGARH: Politics over ‘sacrilege’ cases is set to intensify in Punjab in the run-up to the Assembly polls early next year with the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashing the government investigation into a firing incident in Kotkapura town four years ago.
The Congress government has come under fire as the HC, in its April 9 order, also directed the state to reconstitute the SIT without IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh. The case had spelt doom for the SAD-BJP government in the 2017 Assembly polls. The case goes back to October 14, 2015, when the police opened fire on a crowd in Bargiri village protesting ‘sacrilege’, killing two persons.
The Shiromani Akali Dal and the AAP have attacked the state government for the shoddy probe. They have been joined by former cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who on Tuesday paid obeisance at Burj Jawahar Singh gurdwara at Bargari, the epicentre of the sacrilege incidents, and demanded that the findings of the SIT probe be made public. Sidhu hit out at his own party for “not presenting the facts”.
SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal termed CM Amarinder Singh’s reaction to the HC order as “ranting of a spoilt kid”. He said the “midsummer madness” of the CM indicated his impending defeat in the polls. “The Chief Minister’s absurd and self-contradictory statement is a clear sign that he has lost his mental equilibrium.”
Bhagwant Mann, MP from Sangrur and chief of the Punjab AAP, alleged that the Badals had withdrawn all cases involving Amarinder “at the last moment”. “Amarinder is only returning the favour. The only difference is that in Amarinder’s case the witness turned hostile and in Badal’s case, the lawyer had turned hostile.”On his part, Amarinder asked the opposition parties to wait for the detailed order before claiming victory. “The SIT, at no point, absolved the Badal family of their involvement in the incident,” he said, vowing to ensure justice for the families.