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AAP MLA Kunwar Pratap points to sluggishness in sacrilege related cases

AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. File

AAP MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. File | Photo Credit: Akhilesh Kumar

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, a former IPS officer on Friday took a dig at his own government led by Chief Miniser Bhagwant Mann over sluggishness in cases surrounding the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents, following the Bargari sacrilege incidents.

Mr. Singh currently MLA from Amritsar (north) was a former Inspector General of Police (IGP), who was a member of the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents post the ‘Bargari’ sacrilege case.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Mr. Singh, pointing out that several writ petitions are pending regarding Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases in the Punjab and Haryana High Court and Supreme Court of India - wrote that he has got to know that “..these cases have not been pursued in a proper and just manner,” adding that even in the court of sessions at Faridkot, these cases have been abandoned from the prosecution side.

In April 2021, Mr. Singh had taken premature retirement after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed a report by the SIT of Punjab Police (of which Mr. Kunwar was a part) into the firing incidents. Later on, consequent to the orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab government constituted a new three-member SIT. After he quit the government service, Mr. Singh joined the AAP ahead of 2022 Assembly election in Punjab.

Mr. Singh added “You (Chief Minister) also know that the SITs constituted by the Government of Punjab after my resignation have not done anything to get these cases to a logical conclusion. Therefore, it is requested you to defend these petitions in the Hon’ble High Court and proceed with the ongoing trial in Faridkot Sessions Court.”

Two persons were killed in the police firing in Behbal Kalan of Faridkot district in 2015, which followed the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib at Bargari village. Widespread spread protests were witnessed in the State and since then it has remained a key political issue in the 2017 and 2022 assembly elections.

After Mr. Singh’s letter to the Chief Minister, the Opposition was quick to hit out at the ruling AAP government. Leader of Opposition in Punjab Assembly, Congress’s Partap Singh Bajwa asked the government to clarify its stance on delivering justice in the cases.

“I urge Mr. Bhagwant Mann to clear the stance of the Punjab government on ensuring justice in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases as asked by Mr. Kuwar Vijay Pratap. AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal had stated that within 24 hours this could be closed and yet there seems to be no action till date,” he said.


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Printable version | Jun 4, 2022 7:30:59 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/aap-mla-kunwar-pratap-points-to-sluggishness-in-sacrilege-related-cases/article65439581.ece