The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today said Congress legislators were making a mockery of law by directing and influencing the probe into the heinous incidents of sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj bypassing all laws of the land to serve their political interests.
In a statement here, former minister Maheshinder Singh Grewal said in recent meetings with chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh and otherwise, Congress legislators were pressurizing the government to conduct the probe into the tragic sacrilege incidents on political lines purely to fix its rivals.
“It seems the legislators are desperate to divert attention from their own failures and only interested in milking political mileage from this issue as was done by the Congress party earlier also”.
Condemning this brazen attempt by the legislators to take the law in their own hands, the SAD leader said it seemed the legislators wanted to pin the blame for various sacrileges on the SAD.
“While this indicates the level of frustration in the Congress party, the SAD on its part will not let this attempt at enforcing kangaroo justice succeed. We reiterate our demand for an inquiry into the sacrilege cases by an independent agency monitored by the Supreme Court”.
Mr Maheshinder Grewal said the very fact that the Congress government was running away from holding a Supreme Court monitored independent inquiry into the ghastly sacrilege cases indicated that it felt its political agenda would not be fulfilled if a free and fair inquiry was held into the entire matter.
“What else can there be behind the government’s stubborn refusal on this issue? Surely there cannot be a more sensitive matter meriting an inquiry supervised by the apex court? Everyone knows the credibility of the Supreme Court? Why is the Congress government refusing to meet this genuine demand which also finds resonance amongst the Sikh sangat?” he asked.
The Akali leader said the reason for this denial could stem from that fact that the Congress government thought it could fix the Akalis through handpicked police officers. He said former Congress president Sunil Jakhar had directed the SIT inquiry through public proclamations which were taken as calls for action by Congress blue boy and SIT officer IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap.
He said while Jakhar was shown his place by the people, the politicizing of the SIT inquiry led to censure by a constitutional authority in the form of the Election Commission. “Earlier four out of the five police officers of the SIT had written a dissenting note to the DGP stating they were disassociating themselves from the investigations being made by it.
This also exposed the SIT IG and proved that he was working to fulfill a personal agenda as he is known to have done in the past also for which he received a rap from the Punjab and Haryana high court”.
Also taking on chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh for this flip flop on the sensitive issue of sacrilege due to pressure from his party legislators, Mr Grewal said the CM had made so many turnarounds on this issue that now even Punjabis felt the government was making conflicting statements to derail investigations.
The leader said when Capt Amarinder was in the opposition he had demanded that a sitting judge of the Supreme Court probe the sacrilege incidents. He said the Congress party was also then in agreement with the erstwhile SAD-BJP government vis a vis handing over the sacrilege cases to the CBI.
Mr Grewal said when the CBI filed a closure report on the sacrilege cases of Burj Jawaharsinghwala and Bargari the chief minister had gone to record to demand that the closure report be withdrawn and the case be re-investigated and taken to its logical conclusion.
He said the Punjab government even made a formal request to this effect with the DGP Bureau of Investigations writing a letter to the CBI Director on July 29, 2019 with the consent of the State DGP.
He said the letter stated that the SIT constituted by the Punjab government had revealed certain witnesses/suspects were still left to be examined and that technical evidence collected by it needed further analysis including coordination with agencies abroad.
The former minister also asked the Congress government to disclose what assurances it had given to the family of sacrilege accused Mohinderpal Bittu who was murdered in jail. He said the family cremated Bittu’s body only after two senior police officers met them following which the CBI filed the closure report in the case few days later.
Mr Grewal also asked the chief minister to tell why he had failed to take up the case of withdrawal of the closure report when he met the Prime Minister and the Home Minister recently.
However the Akali leader said after taking all these steps, the chief minister took a u turn in the Vidhan Sabha while replying to a tailor made question put up by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as part of a fixed match and asserted that the erstwhile SAD-BJP government should not have forwarded the case for investigation into the sacrilege of Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji Maharaj to the CBI.
“This indicates that the chief minister is acting upon the dictates of the Congress legislators and even going back on his own statements purely to save his chair. The SAD will not allow any dilution into the investigation into the heinous cases of sacrilege and will fight to the last to ensure the guilty are handed exemplary punishment.
We will go to the people and create a mass movement to ensure a free and fair inquiry into the tragic cases of sacrilege”, Mr Grewal added.