July 13, 2020 11:52:08 pm
The Dera Sacha Sauda representatives Monday claimed that they were possibly being “targeted” for supporting the Shiromani Akali Dal in 2017 Assembly polls, days after a Punjab Police SIT named the jailed sect chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh in a 2015 case of the theft of a copy of Guru Granth Sahib from a gurdwara in Faridkot.
“False accusations were being levelled against us. Guru ji (Ram Rahim) has been made an accused in this case on the basis of statements of other accused (Dera followers). However, as per the CBI investigation, the accused had nothing to do with this case,” claimed Harcharan Singh, a member of the Sirsa-based Dera’s state committee.
A Special Investigation Team of Punjab police, probing the 2015 sacrilege incidents, has named Ram Rahim Singh as a conspirator in a case relating to the theft of a ‘bir’ (copy) of the Guru Granth Sahib from a Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara on June 1, 2015. Ram Rahim was named in the case after the arrest of seven Dera followers.
“We did not commit any sin. There is nothing to hide. We had supported the Akali Dal in 2017 (elections). We feel we are being targeted possibly for that,” Harcharan said.
He claimed that the dera had supported the Congress in 2007 assembly polls. “We faced victimization in 2007 by the then government and now by the government of the day,” he alleged.
Ram Rahim, who is currently lodged in the Rohtak jail, was awarded a 20-year term for raping two women.
The Punjab police SIT has the mandate to probe three sacrilege cases — theft of the ”bir” from the gurdwara in Faridkot, putting up hand-written sacrilegious posters in Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on September 25 and recovery of torn pages of the holy book from Bargari on October 12, 2015 in Faridkot.
The sacrilege of religious scriptures had taken place during the previous SAD-BJP regime. The Akali government had handed over the probe to the CBI. Amarinder Singh-led government withdrew these cases from the central investigating agency and gave it to the Punjab police SIT.
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