Dera followers behind 2015 sacrilege incidents: ex-HC judge Ranjit Singh
Chandigarh, Jan 19 (PTI) Justice (retired) Ranjit Singh, who headed a commission to probe the 2015 sacrilege incidents in Punjab, on Wednesday said it was the Dera Sacha Sauda sect followers who were behind the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib at Faridkot.
The former judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court also said according to the available evidence, there was an “active role” of the then Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini in the subsequent police firing on people protesting the desecration incidents.
The former judge made the revelation, lamenting that both the previous SAD-BJP regime and the Congress government could not deliver justice despite the lapse of seven years after the incidents.
Justice Singh made the revelation in his book 'The Sacrilege', based on the inquiry he conducted into the 2015 sacrilege and subsequent police firing incidents. The book was launched here on Wednesday.
The incidents related to the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib and police firing at anti-sacrilege protesters at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan took place in 2015 in the Faridkot district. Two persons were killed in the police firing at Behbal Kalan.
The Amarinder Singh-led government had formed the one-man commission led by Justice Ranjit Singh in 2017 to inquire into several sacrilege incidents. The report was submitted in August 2018.
Addressing the media here, Justice Singh said the commission's report was debated in the state assembly and was accepted by the House but did not come out in the public domain.
“Effort has been made to bring various facts and truth before the public which led to the sacrilege incidents hurting the sentiments of the Sikh community and the nation leaving indelible scars,” he stated.
Justice Singh clarified that there was no political aim behind bringing out the book when he was asked about the release of the book just ahead of the Punjab assembly polls.
“It is a coincidence that the book is being released now. I neither had any political aim when the probe began nor now. I do not belong to any political party nor do I have any interest in it,” he said.
He further pointed out that the release of the book got delayed because of some administrative reasons.
“My only aim in writing this book is to bring out the truth," he said.
Asked who were responsible for the sacrilege incidents at Faridkot, the former judge said, “Dera 'premis' (followers) were responsible for the sacrilege incidents.” He further said during the police investigation it was found that the Dera followers were responsible for the theft of a copy of the Guru Granth Sahib, putting up hand-written sacrilegious posters and scattering the torn pages of the holy book.
To a question on police firing incidents, Justice Singh said according to the evidence available, there was an “active role” of the then Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini in it.
Sacrilege has been an emotive issue in Punjab. The ruling Congress had always slammed the Akalis over this issue as it took place during the previous SAD-BJP regime in 2015.
The delivery of justice in the 2015 sacrilege incidents was one of the important issues of the coming assembly polls in Punjab.