Not possible Badal didn’t know about police firing: Amarinder
Holding Parkash Singh Badal responsible for the 2015 Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday accused the Akali veteran of “ruining” the State and vowed to go “hammer and tongs” to “fix” him.Capt. Amarinder said it was not possible that Mr. Badal, as the then Chief Minister, was not aware of the police firing and asserted the truth would come out when the Special Investigation Team probe report into the incident would go to the courts.He said the decision to withdraw the case from the CBI and hand it over to a Punjab police SIT was taken by the State Assembly, which felt the BJP-led government at the Centre could influence the central agency as the BJP was an ally of Mr. Badal’s Shiromani Akali Dal.The Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission set up to probe the sacrilege cases and firing incidents at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura had suggested further investigation, which was why the SIT is being set up, said the Chief Minister.‘A thorough job’ The commission was a fact-finding panel which did a thorough job to get to the bottom of the events that led to the senseless and deliberate firing on innocent people, he added.Capt. Amarinder dismissed as a “gimmick” and diversionary tactic Mr. Badal’s assertion that he was ready to swear that he did not know about the firing. “How many times has he falsely sworn at the Akal Takht,” he asked.“How is it possible that (the then) Chief Minister did not know about the firing?” Capt. Amarinder said, pointing out that former Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini had clearly stated before the commission that Mr. Badal had asked him to disperse the crowd forcibly.“If something happens in my State then as Chief Minister I cannot take refuge in such lies and should be thrown out if I am not aware of what is happening right under my nose,” Capt. Amarinder asserted, adding that as per the findings of the commission, 22 calls were made to Mr. Badal before firing took place.The Chief Minister accused Mr. Badal of “manufacturing lies”, claiming that he knew him “personally and closely”. He pointed out that the former Chief Minister did not even take action on the findings of the Justice Zora Singh Commission, which was set up by his own SAD-BJP government to investigate the Bargari sacrilege and the subsequent firing incidents.Capt. Amarinder also challenged the Akali leadership for a debate and alleged they had “run away” on the day his government tabled the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission report in the Assembly.