Business Standard

Parkash Badal is shielding Sukhbir, alleges Punjab Congress chief


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar today accused former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal of "saving" his son Sukhbir Badal and "sacrificing" himself in the sacrilege of religious texts case and the following police firing at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.
Jakhar said he was making these claims on the basis of the findings in the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report, according to which the former CM was "aware" of the proposed police action in the dispersing of protesters at Kotkapura in Faridkot.
"Sukhbir is being shielded by senior Badal. Parkash knows that he and his son are directly involved in the atrocious and unpardonable act", Jakhar said, while speaking to reporters here.
Just before his retirement, former DGP Sumedh Saini, in his reply to the commission, had admitted to talking to the then CM in connection with the law and order situation in Kotkapura.
"As per Saini's statement, it seems the father (Parkash Badal) is trying to save his son. Sukhbir's role, who also held the charge of home department, should be probed. His name was mentioned at three places in the report but not as home minister. Where was he (Sukhbir) when the firing took place," Jakhar asked.
Jakhar asserted that whoever was involved in the criminal acts will be examined by the special investigation team.
The Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) demanded a thorough investigation into the dereliction of duty charges on Sukhbir when discharging duties as state home minister. Sukhbir was the state home minister as well as deputy CM in the last government.
Putting pressure on the Akali Dal, Jakhar, who is also Gurdaspur MP, asked Sukhbir to come clean on the police firing issue.
Jakhar, flanked by two cabinet ministers Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa and Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, said the Congress has prepared a charge sheet against Sukhbir.
The state Congress chief demanded Sukhbir come clean on the events leading to the eventual firing at unarmed persons at Behbal Kalan.
Sukhbir should come explain whether he as the home minister ordered the DGP to fire at the peaceful protestors and if not then how did the then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini dare to defy Sukbir's orders, asked Jakhar.
It was Sukhbir who had then appealed to the protestors to perform 'paths' at the site of sacrilege, Jakhar recalled.
People of Punjab need these answers from Sukhbir, who has "failed" the state as home minister as well as the head of the Panthic Party.
MLAs Harminder Gill, Parminder Singh Pinki, Kushaldeep Dhillon were present during Jakhar's interaction with media persons today.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh yesterday announced a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the Punjab Police to conduct a time-bound probe into the Bargari and other sacrilege cases as well as the firing incidents in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura.

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First Published: Aug 29 2018 | 8:36 PM IST

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