Kotkapura firing: Sukhbir questioned for 4 hours by SIT

Kotkapura police firing: Sukhbir Badal questioned for 4 hours by SIT

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) dubbed the SIT investigation as 'malicious'

Sukhbir Singh Badal. Credit: PTI file photo.

Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday was questioned for around four hours by a Special Investigation Team probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) dubbed the SIT investigation as “malicious”.

Badal reached the Punjab Police Officers' Institute at Sector 32 here around 11 am following a summons by the SIT.

Badal was the deputy chief minister and holding the home portfolio when incidents of desecration of religious texts and the subsequent police firing at people protesting against it had taken place in Faridkot in 2015.

Several senior Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leaders, including Bikram Singh Majithia, Balwinder Singh Bhundar, N K Sharma and Daljit Singh Cheema, reached the Punjab Police Officers’ Institute in a show of support to Badal.

After his questioning, Badal came out of the institute at 3.10 pm and then waved at the Akali Dal workers from his vehicle.

“I am indebted to the party workers for giving so much love and respect,”Badal tweeted.

On Tuesday, the SIT led by Additional Director General of Police (Vigilance Bureau) L K Yadav had questioned Shiromani Akali Dal patriarch and former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal for two-and-a-half hours.

The Punjab government had formed the new SIT to probe the Kotkapura police firing incident following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

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

The High Court had on April 9 this year quashed a report by an earlier Punjab Police SIT into the firing at people protesting in Kotkapura in 2015 over the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district.

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.

Meanwhile, Akali Dal leader Maheshinder Singh Grewal told reporters, “It is a malicious investigation."

Earlier in the day, Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu slammed Sukhbir Singh Badal and said the new SIT "inches closer to justice for Punjab's soul".

Sidhu tweeted, "6 Yrs since sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib Ji. No Justice in 2 yrs of your rule. No Justice in the following 4.5 yrs.. Today, New SIT inches closer to Justice for Punjab's Soul & you cry of political interference. Political interference was that which delayed Justice by 6 yrs."

Sidhu tagged the tweet of Sukhbir Singh Badal in which the former deputy chief minister accused Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of implicating the SAD leadership in false cases at the alleged instance of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

"While farmers suffer, CM is busy keeping Gandhi family happy & has accepted @RahulGandhi's directive to implicate SAD leadership in false cases. New SIT formed after old one was indicted over political interference, is being run by state vigilance dept, so nothing has changed,” Sukhbir had said in a tweet on Friday. 

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