Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 4
Within months of the Akalis walking out of the Union Government, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday finally handed to the state the police papers relating to the sacrilege cases, which Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh said clearly exposed that the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) had been scuttling the process to prevent its complicity in the cases from being revealed.
Probe will expose SAD’s complicity: CM
The SAD’s complicity in the 2015 cases and its subsequent efforts to scuttle a fair and free probe would now be exposed with the completion of the SIT probe, CM Capt Amarinder said, asserting that all those found guilty would be identified and punished under the law
The documents and files relating to the cases were handed over to the state police hours before the deadline set by the Punjab and Haryana High Court for the CBI to do so was to expire. Notably, the Director, Bureau of Investigation, had written to the CBI Director on January 18, 2021, to return the entire record to the state police without any further delay after the withdrawal of the investigation of sacrilege cases from the CBI and consequent return of the entire record, including evidence gathered in cases transferred to the CBI on November 2, 2015.
Capt hiding his failures: Akalis
- The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Thursday asked Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to stop trying to hide his failure in bringing those who had committed sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib to book
- Former minister Dr Daljit Singh Cheema said the CM had exposed his political compulsions and nervousness through a motivated tweet. “The Chief Minister has deliberately tried to twist a judicial intervention, which is totally unwarranted and out of context,” he said
The Chief Minister termed it a victory for the state government and an endorsement of its stand that the CBI had, all these months, been trying to scuttle the investigation by the special investigative team (SIT) of the Punjab Police at behest of the SAD, which was a part of the ruling NDA at the Centre till September 2020.
“It is clear now that Harsimrat Badal, as a Union Minister, had been pressurising the central agency to obstruct the SIT probe by refusing to hand over the case files as she knew that her party’s role in the entire affair would be exposed once the police take the investigation to its logical conclusion,” said Capt Amarinder.
The SAD’s complicity in the 2015 cases and its subsequent efforts to scuttle a fair and free probe would now be exposed with the completion of the SIT probe, he said, asserting that all those found guilty would be identified and punished under the law. Nobody would be spared, irrespective of their political affiliation or position, he added.
Pointing out that his government had withdrawn consent to the CBI to probe the cases as far back as in 2018, after the Vidhan Sabha unanimously resolved to do so, the Chief Minister said the SIT was also constituted then to take over the investigation. The central agency had, for more than two years, been persistently refusing to hand the case files back to the state, he said, adding that the agency, which had earlier filed a closure report in the matter, went on to constitute a new investigative team in September 2019 with the clear and obvious aim of preventing the state government from conducting its own impartial probe, he added.
The incidents of sacrilege occurred between June and October 2015 following theft of the sacred Guru Granth Sahib from a gurdwara in Burj Jawaharsinghwala, Faridkot, and discovery of torn pages from the holy book in Bargari, Faridkot. They caused widespread discontent and outrage amongst members of the Sikh community. These incidents led to large-scale protests and agitations in October 2015. The retaliatory action taken by the police led to injuries and death of two persons.
CBI gives sacrilege case files to police