July 22, 2017 2:36:02 am
A day after becoming Leader of Opposition in the Punjab Assembly, AAP MLA Sukhpal Singh Khaira said Friday that police must probe if RSS and BJP had any role in the killing of a church priest in Ludhian a few days ago. Khaira was in the city to condole the death of Sultan Masih, pastor of church “Temple of God” located in Salem Tabri area of Ludhiana.
Masih was killed by two motorcycle-borne assailants last Saturday. “If we look at the past, there was an attack on a Christian priest in Orrisa in 2008 and a girl was burnt alive. Hindu fundamentalists were behind this episode and even an FIR was lodged against them. Even during the SAD-BJP rule in Punjab, there had been differences between Christians and Hindus over the ‘Ghar Wapsi’ programme and hence it should not be ruled out,” he said.
Addressing a press conference, Khaira said though he was not sure if Hindutva forces were involved in the pastor’s killing, the police must investigate the role of RSS and BJP as well. Khaira was flanked by allies and Lok Insaf Party MLAs Simarjeet Singh Bains and Balwinder Bains, who had voted for Ram Nath Kovind in the presidential elections.
“I am surprised to hear Punjab DGP hinting at outside forces for this killing. It seems they are passing the buck,” he said. Khaira also attacked CM Captain Amarinder Singh. “It is high time Punjab has a full-time CM. Captain Amarinder Singh is not able to come out to meet people. At present, there is a law and order problem in Punjab, as it was during the regime of Akalis. Only flags and colours of turbans have changed. Rest is same in Punjab,” he said.
Reacting over Khaira’s statement, Ravinder Arora, president of BJP’s Ludhiana unit, said, “Khaira has lost his mental balance. He himself is from a family which promoted terrorism in the state. Anyone is free to investigate anything. No one from BJP has ever indulged in anti-national activities.” “We have rather condemned the pastor’s killing. In the past, RSS vice-president Jagdish Gagneja, Shiv Sena leader Durga Prasad Gupta and Namdhari matriarch Mata Chand Kaur were also murdered in a similar manner. It is a case of international conspiracy, but AAP, rather than thinking of national interest, will always focus on anti-national activities,” Arora said.
Yash Giri, zonal secretary of RSS, said, “Let any agency investigate the role of RSS. Blaming RSS has become a new fashion in the country. Even if a tyre punctures, RSS is blamed.”
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