2015 sacrilege case: SIT questions former Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal

CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal was on Tuesday quizzed by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident.

The Punjab Police SIT reached Badal’s official MLA flat in Sector-4 here.

It was there for nearly two-and-a-half hours, sources said.

Earlier, the SIT had summoned the Akali Dal patriarch for questioning in Mohali on June 16.

But Badal had sought a change of the date of appearance, saying he was not keeping well.

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Earlier, Harcharan Bains, principal adviser to Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Badal, had said, “Five-time Punjab CM Sardar Parkash Singh Badal will appear before the SIT at his official MLA flat at Sector-4 in Chandigarh at 10.30 am on June 22. Still not in good health, Badal, however, is keen to fulfil his legal and constitutional duties as a law-abiding citizen of the country.”

Badal was the chief minister of Punjab in 2015 when incidents of the desecration of religious texts and subsequent police firing on people protesting over the issue took place in Faridkot.

In May, the state government set up a new SIT led by Additional Director General of Police L K Yadav to probe the Kotkapura police firing incident following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, which had quashed the report submitted by the first SIT headed by Inspector General Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh on April 9.

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The new SIT is investigating two FIRs registered on October 14, 2015 and August 7, 2018 in connection with the Kotkapura incident.

It has already questioned former DGP Sumedh Saini and some other police officers.

The previous SIT had questioned Badal in 2018.

At that time, Badal had said the SIT was “politically motivated” and the probe was an attempt to defame him.

In 2015, police had also opened fire at a similar demonstration in Behbal Kalan, also in Faridkot, where two people were killed.

A separate probe is underway in that case.