The Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by DIG Ranbir Singh Khattra arrested seven Dera Sacha Sauda followers on Saturday over the alleged theft of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib from Gurdwara Burj Jawahar Singhwala on June 1, 2015. The SIT had started probing this case in February this year. The CBI too has been carrying out a parallel investigation in the case since November, 2015.
The seven arrested persons have been identified as Shakti Singh, Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny, Nishan Singh, Narinder Kumar Sharma, Baljit Singh, Ranjit Singh alais Bhola and Randeep Singh alais Neela — all residents of Faridkot. They were later produced in the court of duty magistrate Chetan Sharma in Faridkot.
However, two out of these seven were released by court and other five were sent in two-day police remand. The two accused who have been released are Shakti Singh and Sukhjinder Singh alias Sunny. Their counsel Vinod Kumar Monga had given a plea that both had been arrested by CBI in 2018 in the same case and had been released on bail in September, 2018 by the Mohali CBI court.
Meanwhile, DIG Khattra had also arrested Shakti Singh, Sukjinder Singh and Mohinder Pal Bittu (who later died in Nabha jail in 2019) and nearly 15 more in July, 2018 in a 2011 sacrilege incident which had happened at Malke in Moga district and in another case of torching buses.
However during investigation, he had got leads of their involvement in theft of ‘Bir’ and had thus handed over those details to CBI .
Later, the CBI had arrested them in Guru Granth Sahib theft case as it was the investigating agency in the same case at that time. The CBI had been handed over three cases during SAD-BJP government — one of theft of bir of Guru Granth Sahib, second of pasting provocative posters in the streets Bargari village on September 25, 2015 and third of alleged desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in the streets of Bargari village on October 12, 2015.
Khattra said, “During my investigation of cases of Malke sacrilege, I had found that these persons were linked with Guru Granth Sahib theft case and hence continuing with that investigation, we arrested seven of them on Saturday morning. Further investigation will reveal more details.”
Without naming the CBI, he added,” I am not questioning investigation of any other agency. However, I am going as per the investigation of our SIT in all the three cases….Mohinder Pal Bittu who had been arrested in Moga arson case had also confessed about theft of Guru Granth Sahib. So, the SIT has many leads on the basis of which arrests have been made.”
Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing cases
Meanwhile, the October 2015 Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura firing cases are being investigated by SIT led by Kunwar Vijay Partap Singh.
Recently, two persons — Sukhail Singh Brar and Pankaj Bansal – were arrested in this case for allegedly helping police in allegedly creating fake bullet marks over police pilot gypsy to claim that police firing was done in defence.
On Saturday, the bail pleas of Brar and Bansal were rejected by the Fairdkot district court. Kotkapura SHO Gurdeep Singh Pandher has also been arrested in the case over charges of misplaced cartridges of police weapons. His bail application will be heard on July 7.