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Sunday, August 01, 2021

Ex-IPS officer who probed Punjab desecration cases joins AAP

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal formally inducted the former inspector general of Punjab Police into the party ahead of the next year's Assembly polls.

Written by Kamaldeep Singh Brar | Chandigarh |
Updated: June 22, 2021 5:40:14 pm
Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh is expected to join AAP today.

Former IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who was part of the SIT probing the 2015 Kotkapura police firing incident in Punjab, Monday joined the Aam Aadmi Party and immediately launched an attack on the state government claiming that the “accused in the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case” were “making all the decisions” and adding that a “political revolution” was necessary in the state.

Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal formally inducted the former inspector general of Punjab Police into the party ahead of the next year’s Assembly polls.

Kejriwal also announced that the party’s chief ministerial face for the 2022 Punjab polls will be from the Sikh community, but added that the name was yet to be finalised.

Welcoming Kunwar Vijay Pratap, Kejriwal said, “Every child in Punjab knows about Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh. Even his opponents swear of his honesty. He investigated and found who were masterminds (behind the Kotkapura firing incident), but the entire system went against him…When he realized that, he resigned. He did not leave the job for himself, but for the people of Punjab to get them justice”.

Kunwar Vijay Pratap, a 1998-batch officer, took premature retirement in April after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed a report filed by the SIT into the police firing on people who were protesting against the alleged desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Faridkot district. He was part of the SIT which was probing the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan policing firing incidents.

The HC had then directed the state government to set up a new SIT without Kunwar Vijay Pratap.

Levelling allegations for the first time on Congress government in Punjab, but without naming Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, the former IPS officer said, “I was watching the manner in which the SIT report got quashed (by the HC). Actually, the accused in the Guru Granth Sahib sacrilege case were directing the Punjab government. The accused were making all the decisions. So, a political revolution is necessary in the state. Public will bring this revolution”.

He also hit out at Punjab Advocate General Atul Nanda accusing him of not taking the SIT case seriously.

“The Advocate General turned sick on the day of hearing on SIT report in High Court on April 10. Any other lawyer from government could have requested for hearing to be postponed so that Advocate General could himself appear for arguments. But it didn’t happen. It was a black day in Punjab’s history. If Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji could not get justice in Punjab then what would be the condition of the common man,” he asked.

The former IG said, “There is a mafia raj in the state. We don’t know who is with whom. We don’t know which party is ruling and which is in opposition. Every body is aligned with each other.”

Kunwar Vijay Partap joined AAP two months after the court quashed the SIT report and also observed that the IPS officer might be harbouring political ambitions. .

“Seeing this conduct of the respondent (Kunwar Vijay), one may harbour an idea that he may be indulging in theatrics to fulfil his own post-retirement political ambitions as several officers have done after demitting office,” reads the HC order.

Soon after the HC order, Kunwar Vijay Pratap submitted his resignation, which Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had initially refused to accept. But when the police officer, who would have otherwise retired in 2029, remained firm on his stand, the CM accepted his premature retirement request.

The SAD-BJP was in power in 2015 when the incidents of sacrilege and subsequent police firing took place.

By inducting the former IG, AAP is is hoping to win over both Sikh and the Hindu votes in Punjab. Kunwar Vijay Partap has made inroads into Sikh vote bank as he had become the face of the SIT that was investigating the 2015 police firing cases.

AAP state president Bhagwant Mann, state in-charge (and Delhi MLA) Jarnail Singh, co-incharge Raghav Chadha and Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema were present along with 13 party MLAs when Kejriwal inducted Kunwar Vijay Pratap into party.

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