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Sacrilege cases taken from CBI 

Chandigarh, August 28

Accepting the demand of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party MLAs, Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh announced on Tuesday that the probe into cases of sacrilege as well as the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura police firing, now with the CBI, would be handed over to a special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab Police for speedy disposal.

He was delivering the concluding speech after an eight-hour-long debate on the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report. The Akali legislators staged a walkout before the debate began, protesting against the “less time” allotted to their party during the debate on the Commission’s report. Painting former Chief Minister  Parkash Singh Badal as anti-Panthic, Capt Amarinder Singh squarely blamed him for the incidents of sacrilege during the SAD-BJP tenure. Calling him a “coward and a liar”, he accused Badal of always having worked against the state’s interests, for Operation Bluestar and for “sabotaging” peace efforts preceding the military action.  

“Parkash Singh Badal is not ill, but has avoided coming to the House as he knew he would be nailed,” he claimed. While blaming his predecessor for the damage caused to the state and its people owing to his “grave acts of commission and omission”, the CM also attacked SAD president Sukhbir Badal, his wife and Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur,  her brother Bikram Majithia and other Akali leaders, claiming they had not cared to visit those injured in the police firing. On the Bargari and Behbal Kalan incidents, he said a day prior to retirement, the former DGP had claimed to have spoken to the then CM about the police firing. “How then could he (Badal) have  been asleep?”

Congress MLAs spoke vociferously on various aspects of the Commission’s report and the alleged complicity of Dera Sacha Sauda in cases of sacrilege. 

AAP legislators Sukhpal Singh Khaira, HS Phoolka and Kanwar Sandhu and senior Congress MLAs Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Tript Rajinder Bajwa, Manpreet Badal and Harminder Singh Gill urged the Chief Minister to put the Badals behind bars for “disrespect to Sikh scriptures.”

As sought by Randhawa, a privilege motion was unanimously passed against SGPC chief Gobind Singh Longowal for rejecting the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report. “The SGPC will be freed from the clutches of the Badals,” Randhawa claimed.

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