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CONVICTION IN CHHATARPATI CASE Try Dera head in blasphemy case too: Sikh groups

January 20, 2019 06:42 AM


Try Dera head in blasphemy case too: Sikh groups


Seeking to put Badals in the dock for the state police not presenting challan against Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh chief in case of imitating tenth Sikh master Guru Gobind Singh in Salabatpura in May 2007, Sikh groups have urged the Punjab government to get the case reopened and get the Dera chief tried. Rape and murder convict Gurmeet was discharged from the case without any trial in 2014 during SAD-BJP rule.

The Sikh groups have also asked SGPC president Gobind Singh Longowal to explain that why SGPC did not follow the case.

Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, prominent Sikh preacher Harjinder Singh Majhi and Alliance of Sikh Organizations (a conglomerate of over two dozen Sikh groups) activists, led by Sukhdev Singh, said that when despite having limited resources the families of two women disciples and journalist Ram Chander Chhatarpati could get the Dera chief convicted in cases of rape and murder with their grit and determination, Badals failed the Sikh community in the case by helping Gurmeet even as there was widespread anger among Sikhs due his blasphemous act.

They pointed out that even as a high-level inquiry by the Punjab Police had held that there was enough evidence against Dera chief, Bathinda police never presented challan against him. “Just a few days before 2012 assembly polls, police filed cancellation report in the Bathinda court. However, the court rejected the cancellation explanation after the complainant countered police stand and later Dera head moved the Punjab and Haryana high court which sent the case back to the lower court in Bathinda in 2014. As government had given him long rope, Dera chief filed an application before the sessions court that he should be discharged as police did not file challan within mandatory three years. That’s when the court discharged him,” Majhi and Sukhdev said.

“It is more than evident that police acted on the behest of chief minster Parkash Singh Badal and deputy CM Sukhbir Badal who also held home department,” they alleged, asking, “how could otherwise police help the Dera chief get off the hook even without facing a trial in such a high profile case.”

“Let Badals now explain this discharge of the Dera head,” they said, adding that SGPC also failed to pursue the case and its president should now also explain the reasons before the community. “It was only after this discharge from the case that Dera head and his followers got emboldened and they indulged in sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015,” they added.

They urged the Captain Amarinder Singh government to immediately order a timebound probe to fix the responsibility of the police officials “who in place of going by the law followed illegal diktats of political masters and failed to prosecute the Dera head”.

Sikh groups held that this case made it clear that there was dire need to get SGPC rid of political clutches.

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