THE PUNJAB government has been urged to initiate a fresh inquiry into the infamous desecration case at Bargadi and the subsequent police firing at Behbal Kalan that killed two in October 2015. Punjab Attorney-General Atul Nanda has recommended to the government that another commission be constituted to look into the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib as the report of a one-man commission constituted by the previous government was not enough to nail the guilty.
The Punjab government, led by Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, had sought legal opinion on Justice Jora Singh Commission report on whether it could help deliver justice by bringing the guilty to book.
The AG, it is learnt, found the report “inconclusive”: Not enough to recommend strong action against anybody. The government will now constitute another inquiry commission.
Justice Jora Singh had taken seven months to inquire into the desecration and firing. The then government had not made the commission report public.
Subsequently, Bargadi and Behbal Kalan became a poll issue ahead of the recently held Assembly election in the state. The Congress had promised in its manifesto that it would punish the guilty if voted to power.
The government has now dusted off the file. “We will set a deadline for the commission. It has already been 18 months that the incident shook the state. We want the culprits brought to book as soon as possible,” said a functionary of the government.
The Jora Singh commission had probed three incidents of desecration in Faridkot district in 2015 and incidents at Bargadi and Behbal Kalan. The 51-page report has recorded statements of 206 witnesses. The commission had only recommended compensation to victims. While he had recommended ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh each to Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Gurjeet Singh, who died in the police firing, Rs 10 lakh each was announced for Ajit Singh and Beant Singh, injured in the firing.