Punjab: SIT report blames Dera Sacha Sauda for sacrilege cases

Punjab CM Mann hands over 467-page report to Sikh leaders

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Saturday, July 02, 2022, 07:53 PM IST
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Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | PTI

Chandigarh: The final report of the special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab police probing into the three sacrilege cases has blamed the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda for these incidents that took place in Faridkot district in 2015.

The said cases in which two anti-sacrilege protesters were also killed in police firing that year had rocked the state. The demand for the arrests of all those responsible for the sacrilege and police firing had also dominated the two state elections since.

The SIT report which was submitted to the state government on April 21 this year, was made public Saturday when chief minister Bhagwant Mann handed over its copies to a delegation of Sikh leaders comprising Major Singh Pandori, Chamkaur Singh, Bhai Rupa, Resham Singh Khukhrana and Baldev Singh Joggewala, who had been pursuing the case.

The SIT report pointedly named Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh as the conspirator besides naming several of his followers, some of whom are already in jail and three who have been absconding.

The SIT was constituted on April 4, 2021, on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

The 467-page SIT report counters several claims made by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) which did not find any evidence of the Dera Sacha Sauda’s involvement.

It may be recalled that the first case of sacrilege pertained to theft of Guru Granth Sahib from Gurdwara Sahib at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on June 1, 2015. Then, on September 25, two posters containing derogatory remarks against Sikh religion, Sikh preachers and Guru Granth Sahib were found pasted outside Dhodha Peer Gate at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala. The third incident was reported on October 12, when the pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found strewn outside the Bargari gurdwara as well as in the village streets.

The SIT report said that the accused Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny, Shakti Singh, Baljit Singh, Randeep Singh alias Neela, Ranjit Singh alias Bhola, Nishan Singh, Narinder Sharma and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh (undergoing sentence at Sonaria Jail, Rohtak) were involved in the theft incident and later in throwing around the holy pages.

The SIT report said prime accused Mohinder Pal alias Bittu - who was killed in Nabha jail by inmates in 2019 - and his companions were upset due to the insulting remarks against Dera followers by a preacher and the non-release of the film ‘MSG-2’ featuring Dera head.

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