The special investigation team (SIT) of the Punjab police has pinned the blame for the 2015 Bargari sacrilege cases on the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda.
Widespread protests broke out in Punjab following the incidents. It has remained a key political issue in the State since then.
In the first case, unknown persons stole the holy Shri Guru Granth Sahib from the Gurdwara of Burj Jawahar Singh Wala in Faridakot district. Three months later, two posters containing derogatory language against Sikh religion, Sikh preachers and the Guru Granth Sahib were found pasted at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village. In the third case, unknown persons had strewn the holy pages of Shri Guru Granth Sahib outside the Bargari Gurudwara as well as on the streets around the village.
The SIT, constituted to probe the ‘Bargari Sacrilege Cases’, in its report, which was on Saturday handed over by Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann to Sikh leaders, pointed out that there was a direct link between the cases and the Dera, and the accused persons were followers of the Dera.
“It is evident from material-evidence collected by the SIT of Punjab Police that the accused persons who were apprehended in these cases were having direct nexus with the management of the Dera. The motive behind the incidents was also having link with the movie ‘MSG-2’ and the accused persons were also connected with release/non-release of said movie. The closure report of CBI also corroborates the fact that accused Mohinder Pal alias Bittu (later killed in Nabha jail by inmates) and his companions were upset due to the non-release of the movie “MSG-2” due to which accused-Mohinder Pal organised three days ‘dharna’ (sit-in) at Moga for the release of the movie and Mohinder Pal along with accused namely Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny and Ranjit alias Bhola remained active for the release of the movie,” the SIT said.
“So, from the above-mentioned facts which were also observed by the CBI in its closure report are relevant and the incidents in these three cases also revolve around the above-mentioned event. So, it is clear that the accused persons were agitated and actively involved in the affairs of release and non-release of the movie,” it added in the report. The SIT, which was led by Inspector General of Police S.P.S Parmar, submitted its report to the State Director-General of Police on April 21. The report named Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim (serving sentence) in all the three desecration incidents.
The report said the other accused in the three cases were Sukhjinder Singh, Shakti Singh, Baljit Singh, Randeep Singh, Ranjit Singh, Nishan Singh, Narinder Sharma and Pardeep Singh. Besides, there are three other accused namely Harsh Dhuri, Pardeep Kler and Sandeep Bareta, who have been declared proclaimed offenders and are yet to be arrested.
The three cases of sacrilege are under trial at a Faridkot court.