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Bargari sacrilege accused murder: Conspiracy or unplanned attack? Jails minister flip-flops

Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa addressed a news conference in Ludhiana on Monday regarding the killing of Bargari sacrilege case Mohinder Pal Bittu.

Written by Divya Goyal | Ludhiana |
Updated: June 25, 2019 11:21:16 am
Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu, nabha jail murder, bargari accused, baragari case accused, dera sacha sauda, indian express Bittu, a follower of Dera Sacha Sauda sect, was allegedly attacked by two inmates Saturday evening after which he was rushed to Nabha civil hospital near Patiala, where he was declared brought dead. (File)

Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, who addressed a news conference in Ludhiana on Monday regarding the killing of Bargari sacrilege case Mohinder Pal Bittu, made contradictory statements about the murder that took place in Nabha jail.

Asked whether Bittu’s murder was the result of a conspiracy, Randhawa said, “I visited the jail and also met the rest of the Dera followers lodged there. I spoke to senior officials. It was an unplanned attack that happened when Bittu was walking in a common area as construction work was going on along the route to his high-security zone cell. It all happened within 1.5-2 minutes. Apart from an iron rod, attackers also used a brick. The rod was extracted, it wasn’t from the construction site. The attackers also used a kitchen utensil…”

Minutes later however, he said, “The attackers have eliminated the most vital clue in the (sacrilege) probe…Bittu was the one who was leading us to everything. I would call it a big conspiracy to attack him or eliminate him. He has left behind big questions which will be answered after the probe.”

Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu, nabha jail murder, bargari accused, baragari case accused, dera sacha sauda, indian express Punjab Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa

Read | ‘He was our leader…police officials, politicians and bureaucrats listened to him’: Dera followers remember Bittu

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Asked about some people allegedly taking credit for the crime on social media, Randhawa said, “Those taking credit are traitors and they have shut Bittu’s mouth forever as a part of a big conspiracy. They have also contributed to derailing the inquiry.”

Randhawa further said that the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the Bargari sacrilege case was to interrogate Bittu for clues, adding that the murder is going to affect the investigation. “I have requested the CM to get this case probed from every angle,” he added.

Read | Bargari sacrilege case: Dera follower Bittu’s body cremated two days after murder in jail

Randhawa further said that construction work is ongoing in eleven jails of Punjab and when funds are released for modernisation of police force, the jails department does not get a share. “I had written to the Centre and Punjab CM that we need funds. Earlier jail staff never had sophisticated weapons which have now been provided after CM released funds to strengthen our high security zones..,” he said.

Randhawa also said that the CRPF will soon take over security of three jails, and the state government has released Rs 24 crore for revamping of the security system in prisons and given a green signal for recruitment.

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