Culprits of Bargari sacrilege won't be spared: Punjab CM
Chandigarh, Oct 15 : Lashing out at vested political interests seeking to politicise a sensitive issue, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday said there is no question of backing out of his promise to bring to book the culprits of the Bargari sacrilege case and the subsequent incidents of firing at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura towns.
Asked if Bargari is becoming a rallying point for radicals, the Chief Minister said everyone knew that some people are trying to politicise the issue but the people of the state want peace and would not get carried away by the attempts of such elements to take political mileage from it.
The Chief Minister warned the radicals against trying to disturb the peace of Punjab. Asked if he is supporting the radicals to get control of the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC), the Chief Minister said he never had any links with such groups.
He said that he would support any moderate group of Sikhs to get control of the SGPC, as he wants the Badals out of it.
"They have ruined the Gurdwaras", he said, adding as far as Badal is concerned, he is no moderate but an opportunist who uses people of all shades to meet his political ends.
The Chief Minister made it clear that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) os on the job of investigating the Bargari and other incidents but "under the law. "I cannot interfere in its functioning."
The SIT is fully cognisant of the sensitivity and urgency of the matter and would not delay its investigations, said Amarinder Singh, declaring that the SIT would move the courts for action if they find any ground for action against anyone.
Pointing out that his government initiated steps immediately after coming to power to fulfil the Congress promise of strict action in these cases, the Chief Minister said the decision to hand over the investigation to SIT was unanimously taken in the Vidhan Sabha.
The government had initially decided to entrust the probe to the CBI but the House decided against it out of fear that the central agency could get influenced because of the alliance of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with the Akalis, he added.
Amarinder Singh observed that the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission, in its report, had clearly stated that it was only a fact-finding report and further investigations were required.
He said that his government has picked the best professional SIT team for the probe.
Pointing out that he, and even Congress President Rahul Gandhi, had visited Behbal Kalan soon after the incident, Amarinder Singh said his ministers are in touch with the families of deceased and that bereaved families have been given compensation more than what was recommended by the commission.