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Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Badals not named as accused in Behbal Kalan firing case: Capt

His statement comes days after Punjab Police inspector general (IG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap, a member of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 firing incident, informed a district and sessions judge in Faridkot that Badals have been examined during the probe and have been arrayed as accused in some cases.

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: June 30, 2020 1:59:33 pm
Badals not named as accused in Behbal Kalan firing case: Capt “A person is named as an accused only after an investigation is completed. The investigation is still underway and none could be declared accused at this stage,” Amarinder said.

Former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son and SAD president Sukhbir Badal have not been named as accused in the case pertaining to police firing during a dharna in 2015 at Behbal Kalan in which two protesters were killed, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Monday said.

“A person is named as an accused only after an investigation is completed. The investigation is still underway and none could be declared accused at this stage,” Amarinder said.

His statement comes days after Punjab Police inspector general (IG) Kunwar Vijay Pratap, a member of the special investigation team (SIT) probing the 2015 firing incident, informed a district and sessions judge in Faridkot that Badals have been examined during the probe and have been arrayed as accused in some cases.

The SIT, which is also probing the desecration of scriptures in Punjab in 2015, last year had filed a chargesheet, claiming that a similar police firing on protesters at Kotkapura was a “pre-planned handiwork” of the Sukhbir Badal, the then deputy CM; then DGP Sumedh Singh Saini and Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim. The protests at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan had followed desecration of religious texts.

Farm Ordinances

Amarinder, who was addressing his first physical press conference after the Covid-19 outbreak, meanwhile, accused Akalis of backstabbing Punjabi farmers by not fully supporting the state government on the anti-farmer ordinances recently promulgated by the Centre. He said Sukhbir Badal should listen to the voice of his conscience rather than securing the ministerial berth of his wife in the Union Cabinet and keeping his party ties intact with BJP.

“The Shiromani Akali Dal had always been the votary of more rights to the states and their autonomy in the true spirit of federalism,” the CM said. He said that it was compulsion of the state BJP not to oppose their party’s decision at Centre in this regard but, on the contrary, Akalis should have taken firm stand to save the state’s beleaguered peasantry by rejecting the anti-farmer ordinances.

Answering a query, the CM said the ordinances were an outcome of Shanta Kumar Committee, which recommended scrapping of the MSP regime besides disbanding the FCI. “There would be no guarantee for MSP to continue in future as claimed by Sukhbir Badal, once these ordinances are enacted by the Parliament,” he added.

Electricity Bill

Responding to another question with regard to amended draft of Electricity Act-2003 sent by Centre to Punjab, Amarinder said that this was another onslaught on the federal structure thereby infringing upon the rights of the states.

He said that it was the state’s sole prerogative to grant concessions to the particular section of consumers be it domestic, farmers, commercial or industrial and Centre could not dictate any terms in this behalf. He asserted that the Centre was deliberately undermining the power given to the states under the Constitution.

Don’t want Khalistan

Asserting that nobody wants a separate state for Sikhs, Amarinder dismissed a recent statement of Akal Takht Jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh that the Sikh community will accept Khalistan if the government offers it. “I am a Sikh. I do not want Khalistan. Only Panun (Gurpatwant Singh) wants it,” he said referring to the legal advisor of US-based banned radical outfit Sikhs for Justice.

Amarinder questioned why the Sikhs running businesses almost in every state across the country and leading a prosperous life would demand Khalistan.

He said every Sikh always stood for the unity and integrity of the country. “Do you know how many Sikh soldiers we have? They sacrifice their lives for the country. We fight for our country and this is our country,” he added.

On Bajwa and Dullo

Asked to comment on the functioning of his government with regard to observations made by Rajya Sabha Members Partap Singh Bajwa and Shamsher Singh Dullo, the Chief Minister said that they should mind their own business rather making baseless stratements.

“I know how to run the state,”he said, adding the people of Punjab had given clear verdict in favour of Congress during last assembly elections, which is a testimony to people’s enormous trust and confidence in the policies and programmes of the state government.

On Covid situation

The CM said if Covid situation did not improve, he would have to take stronger measures even if people would have to be inconvenienced.

Asked to comment whether Punjab has entered the community transmission, he said that the Covid situation in Punjab was more or less under control as compared to the states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi.

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