Punjab CM Mann Submits Final SIT Report In Sacrilege Case To Sikh Leaders; Nowhere Closer To Truth

SIT final report mentioned just the role of Dera chief and 11 others and the motive behind the be-adbi sacrilege being the release of the movie called MSG-2, in contrast, the Justice Ranjit Singh Randhawa’s book ‘The Sacrilege’ unfolded how the controversial head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim, is now in jail.

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh
SIT Head IG SPS Parmar had questioned Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh at Sunaria jail. (Photo: India Ahead Network)

Chandigarh: Even as the judgment into the Behbal Kalan firing case is expected anytime (it is reserved in the Punjab and Haryana High Court), Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann today handed over the final Special Investigative Team (SIT) report of the Bargari incident to the Sikh religious leaders.

Sources said the urgency that “the Punjab government has shown is because of the judgment in the Behbal Kalan case is expected soon.

”The government wants to show it is on the job. However, former IPS officer and advocate Pradeep Virk who is often consulted in the case said, “We have gotten this far. But nowhere closer to the truth.” He reiterates: It is hogwash.”

What Does IG SPS Parmar-Headed Final SIT Report Say?

Three things have come out in this final report. One is that the Dera chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim is the key conspirator along with 11 others. Two, the incidents of June 1 and October 12, 2015, were connected to the release of MSG-2, the film starring Dera chief. However, the report does not say anything about the complicity of those at the helm then and about any destruction of evidence by political leadership than at the helm and those in the higher echelons of Punjab Police.”

Sukh Raj Singh, the son of one of the persons killed during Behbal Kalan firing Krishan Bhagwan Singh, said that the report has been handed over to those who had nothing to do with the protest. And also, three Proclaimed Offenders POs remain at large seven years after the incident took place.

Justice Randhawa’s Book Lays Bare More Than This Report

While SPS Parmar headed SIT final report mentioned just the role of Dera chief and 11 others and the motive behind the be-adbi sacrilege being the release of the movie called MSG-2, in contrast, the Justice Ranjit Singh Randhawa’s book ‘The Sacrilege’ unfolded how the controversial head of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda Gurmeet Ram Rahim, is now in jail, rendered a maafi-nama (apology) to the Sikh clergy and which was actually dictated by the then Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in the presence of his politician-son Sukhbir Singh Badal, the then state’s deputy CM.

The maafi-nama was regarding the 2007 incident, in which Gurmeet Ram Rahim had attired himself like Guru Gobind Singh, and which had led to bad blood between the premise (followers of the Dera) and the Sikhs.

Justice Randhawa had pointed out at the time of his book release that “Giani Gurmukh Singh, former Jathedar of Takht Damdama Sahib, had stated that former Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal called him and two more Akal Takht Jathedars to his residence in Chandigarh. There they asked them to pardon the Dera chief in the presence of the deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal.”

For the Dera chief and the followers, acceptance of the apology meant that the sequel of his film MSG – MSG-2 could finally be released across Punjab, while for the Badals, it would have translated into votes from the sect followers.

On September 25, 2015, MSG-2 was released after the Dera chief’s apology was accepted by Akal Takht. There was massive outrage among Sikhs regarding the grant of pardon to the Dera chief. MSG-2 was released in Punjab but the multiplex and cinema owners played it safe by not screening it. This led to massive protests by Sikhs at Behbal Kalan and Kotakpura. At Behbal Kalan two protesters were killed in police firing.

From Justice Ranjit Singh’s book comes another fact. ”On October 14, 2015, at 2:00 am there was a telephonic conversation between the then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and the then Chief Minister of Punjab Parkash Singh Badal. Subsequent to it, there is another conversation between the DGP and the Deputy Commissioner of Faridkot. This is followed by yet another telephonic talk between the DGP and the MLA of Kotakpura, Mantar Singh Brar. Then there is another extended conversation between DGP Saini and IGP Param Raj Umranangal. And then, at 6:45 am in the morning, there were police firing at Kotakpura. Later, at 10:00 am, police again opened fire at Behbal Kalan and killed two people.”

All these facts are not there in the SPS Parmar-headed final report submitted by the CM to the Sikh leaders.

The Background

The alleged theft of the holy book took place from a gurudwara in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in the Faridkot district on June 1, 2015.

The first charge sheet, in this case, was submitted on July 20, 2021. However, Ram Rahim’s name was missing since he had not been questioned till then. More recently, SIT head IG SPS Parmar questioned the Dera head twice inside the Sunaria jail after which the charge sheet was presented in the court against him and nine others already accused in the case.

“The supplementary charge sheet was filed on January 27, 2022, in the case of theft of the holy book.

The holy scripture was stolen at Burj in June 2015. Later, its desecration took place at Bargari on October 12 of the same year. Alternately, the appearance of sacrilegious posters on September 25, 2015, all of these three cases were interconnected. The posters which appeared on September 25 mentioned that if the MSG-2 film was not released, the holy book would be desecrated.

Three separate cases were filed, one about the theft of the holy scripture, another related to the blasphemous posters, and the third one about the actual act of desecration of the holy book. The three cases are known by their FIR numbers — FIR No. 63 about the theft of holy scripture, FIR No. 117 is about the blasphemous posters, and FIR No. 128 (scattering of the holy book).

Much earlier, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a closure report in the case. However, the agency withdrew it later so that it could be re-investigated as there was widespread resentment among the Sikh community and a lot of political pressure.

After the CBI, the then Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on April 22, 2019, handed over the investigation to the SIT led by DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra. In July 2020, the SIT named jailed Dera head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh and national committee members Sandeep Bretta, Pardeep Kler, and Harsh Dhuri, as accused in the “bir” theft case.

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