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Spell out dera’s role in Maur blast: Sukhbir 

Jalandhar, November 14

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal on Wednesday said the state government should declare Dera Sacha Sauda followers guilty in the January 2017 Maur Mandi blast, if SIT probe had established so.

Interacting with the media on the sidelines of a rally against the delay in disbursement of SC Post-Matric Scholarships, Sukhbir said: “The police should come out with the truth on the matter. If dera people are involved, the government should say so and arrest the guilty. It seems that there is no will to act.”

After being accused of having a role in grant of pardon to dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim, Sukhbir has now surprisingly expressed his stance against the dera. Notably, dera chief’s relative and former Congress MLA Harminder Jassi, outside whose rally the blast had taken place, had claimed that he was the target.

Asked as to why he kept maintaining that the blast was the result of hobnobbing between AAP and Sikh radicals, Sukhbir said: “It was based on the first information that we got. There was a first suspect and then a second. Anything can emerge after preliminary investigation.” He tried to justify why the police under him as the then Home Minister could not establish the role of the dera.

Similarly, when quizzed on the “foreign hand” that he claimed was behind sacrilege incidents, Sukhbir moved on abruptly without replying. 

Sukhbir alleged that there was a serious threat to peace in the state. He hit out against the Congress government for denying education to Dalit students by refusing to release Rs 444 crore received from the Centre for the scholarship scheme. He announced to launch a statewide agitation on the issue.

Shown black flags

Led by DCC chief Daljit Singh Ahluwalia, Congress leaders showed black flags to Akalis near the rally venue. Former minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur alleged that Sukhbir was shedding crocodile tears on the scholarship issue. “When in government, he himself kept diverting scholarship funds. He took resignation from me and Gulzar Singh Ranike over some allegations as we both are SCs. There were charges against other ministers too, but they were spared as they were from general category,” he alleged.

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