No one from the general public turned up to record their statement before Justice (retd) Ranjit Singh Commission, which was set up to probe the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari in October 2015 and the subsequent police firing on protestors in Behbal Kalan in which two persons were killed. While two newspaper advertisements failed to elicit any response from the public, the Commission has so far recorded statements of more than 10 policemen. Now, the Commission has summoned more than 40 police officials to appear before it from July 3 to 11. Justice Ranjit Singh said those summoned also include policemen who claim they were injured in the Behbal Kalan incident.
Set up on April 14 by the Amarinder Singh government, the Ranjit Singh Commission was given six months to probe the desecration cases of all religions. It was constituted based on the opinion of Advocate General Atul Nanda, who dubbed the report of Jora Singh Commission set up by SAD-BJP government as inconclusive. It was on May 20 that the Commission in its first advertisement in newspapers asked people to record their statements about desecration of any religious scripture belonging to any religion.
The notice also mentioned district-wise schedule from June 6 to June 20 for people to appear in person at Forest Complex Mohali office of the Commission. The date for such people coming from Muktsar, Ferozepur and Faridkot was June 16 as per the advertisement. “Another advertisement was issued where people could have recorded their statements from June 22 to June 25, but no one turned up. I will now visit Faridkot to record the statements,” Justice Ranjit Singh told The Indian Express, adding that the Faridkot visit will happen after he’s finished with recording statements of policemen.
Out of the 10 police officials have so far come before the Commission, the seniormost as a DSP-rank officer. Justice (retd) Jora Singh, during the course of his inquiry, had recorded statements of more than 200 persons, which included policemen and other government officials, besides general public. There were number of persons from general public who recorded their statements by appearing in person at the Commission’s office at mini-secretariat then.