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Sacrilege case: No faith in CBI, says Punjab CM


Press Trust of India Chandigarh
A day after the CBI submitted before a Mohali court that a new special investigation team will probe the desecration of religious texts in Bargari, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said the state government had no faith in the premiere central agency.
"The decision to hand over the case to a new SIT three months after the CBI had filed a closure report in the court is a clear ploy to delay the probe and stop the state government from taking over it. the state government has no faith in the CBI in the matter of the Bargari sacrilege case," the chief minister said in a statement here on Thursday.
Accusing the Centre of of pressuring the CBI at the behest of the Badals, who led the previous government in the state, Singh said they would not allow them prevent the investigation from going back to the Punjab Police.
The CBI on Wednesday had told the Mohali court that a new team will take over the probe in the 2015 case.
The agency had earlier filed a closure report in the case involving the desecration of religious texts in Faridkot's Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala villages, saying the circumstantial evidences did not prove the occurrence of the crime.
The chief minister said the state government would continue to oppose the CBI in the court and fight at all levels for getting the case back to the state.
"We will not let anyone get away with cheating the people of Punjab," he said.
Earlier, the Punjab government had filed a petition in the Mohali court, saying the CBI had no jurisdiction to investigate the cases.
The CM said the CBI had exposed itself to be totally partisan and unfair in the entire affair, adding that despite repeated pleas and efforts by the state government in the wake of the closure report, the national agency failed to return the case files to the Punjab Police.
"The failure was clearly deliberate and mischievous so that the agency could buy time to divert the case to the new SIT for its eventual burial," he added.
He alleged that the CBI was acting entirely under the influence of the Badals, which negates any possibility of a fair and thorough probe into the case.
Justice could only be meted out if the state police investigated the matter, he said.
"For three years, they (CBI) failed to make any headway in the case despite all the powers and means at their disposal and then filed a closure report without completing the investigation. And when we decided to duly take the case back from them, as per the decision of the Vidhan Sabha last year, they have done a complete U-turn by reopening the case," said the CM.
Amarinder Singh also came down heavily on the Akali leadership, particularly Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, saying she should either persuade the Centre to send the case back to the state or resign.
He reminded the Union minister that her party (Shiromani Akali Dal) was part of the unanimous decision of the Vidhan Sabha to withdraw the case from the CBI.
Since she claimed to be a vociferous protector of Sikh rights and sentiments, she should prove her credibility by fighting within the central government to get the Bargari case back to the Punjab Police for a fair probe, he added.
Amarinder Singh further said the whole business smacked off "all-out attempts" to bury the probe and allow the Badals, whose "complicity" in the matter was becoming more and more clear by the day, to go scot-free.
His government, said the CM, would go to any length to ensure that the course of justice is not perverted as the Badals wanted it to be.
"We will fight the CBI tooth and nail and ensure that the investigation is taken to its logical conclusion," he asserted.

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First Published: Sep 26 2019 | 7:50 PM IST

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