July 11, 2018 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Chandigarh: It is learnt that Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has sought fresh reply from former Punjab police chief Sumedh Saini. The commission is probing cases related to beadbi of Guru Granth Shaib and Behbal Kalan police firing of October 2015 in which two Sikhs were killed.
As per media reports former DGP Sumedh Saini had submitted his reply to Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission on June 29, just a day before his retirement. He retired from police on June 30.
According to a report in The Tribune (TT), ‘[a]vailable information suggests that Saini’s replies do not specifically answer the queries posed to him. The commission has set July 15 as the deadline for him to furnish a fresh reply. Justice Ranjit Singh has also written to the Punjab government that it may consider Saini’s reply for giving a fair chance to all before eventually submitting a supplementary report’.
‘In his reply, Saini is said to have referred to a telephonic conversation he had hours before the police opened fire during an anti-sacrilege protest at Kotkapura (Faridkot) in October 2015, indicating that the top brass was cognisant of the developments’.
There are unconfirmed reports that the commission has found some sort of evidence which shows that Sumedh Saini had ordered the police party on ground to take strict action against Sikhs who were staging a demonstration against Bargari beadbi incident on a link road leading of Behbal Kalan village.
As per The Tribune (TT) report, [t]he commission has already recorded that then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was contacted by then local MLA Mantar Singh Brar before the firing incident and had issued “some directions” for handling the situation. The directions were issued through the then DGP, the commission recorded in one of its orders. Badal, so far, has declined to furnish information sought from him. He has told the commission that his party (SAD) has rejected the panel.
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About Bargari Beadbi Incident, Behbal Kalan Firing and Commissions of Inquiries Setup in this Matter:
Bargari Beadbi Incident: A saroop of Guru Granth Sahib was stolen from village Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 01, 2015. After which some posters were pasted in that village challenging Sikhs to find the stolen Saroops. On October 12, 2015 Beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib was committed in Bargari village and it is believed that the culprits committed beadbi of Saroop that was stolen from village Burj Jawahar Singh Wala.
Police Firing at Behbal Kalan:
On October 15, 2015 the Punjab police had opened fire Sikh sangat staging a sit-in on a local road leading to Behbal Kalan village on Kotkapura-Bathinda road. Two Sikhs namely Bhai Gurjeet Singh of Sarawan village and Bhai Krishan Bhagwan Singh of Niamiwala village were killed in this firing while several other Sikhs were injured. The Sikh protesters were demanding action against culprits of Beadbi of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari.
Justice Zora Singh Commission:
The then Punjab government led Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) and BJP government had formed a commission led by Justice Zora Singh to probe the incident. The commission had submitted its report on July 2016 but it failed to find the culprits of Beadbi incident at Bargari or those responsible for police firing at Behbal Kalan village.
Justice Ranjit Singh Commission:
After assuming power in Punjab, the Congress party government led by Capt. Amarinder Singh announced to scrap the report submitted by Justice Zora Singh and announced to form another commission led by Justice Ranjit Singh. The commission was appointed in April 2017 and it was required to submit its report with in six month but the commission submitted one of four parts of its report on June 30, 2018.
People’s Commission Led by Justice Markandey Katju:
Various human rights groups of Punjab had formed a ‘people’s commission’ led by former Supreme Court of India (SCI) judge Markandey Katju. Justice Katju commission had held the high-ups in Punjab police as responsible for the police firing at Behbal Kalan. But People’s Commission’s report was neither recognised by the SAD (Badal) government nor by Capt. Amarinder Singh led Congress government.
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Related Topics: Bargari Beadbi Case, Behbal Kalan Incident, Congress, Congress Government in Punjab 2017-2022, Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, Parkash Singh Badal, Punjab Government, Punjab Police, Punjab Politics, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Sumedh Saini