Badal questioned by SIT on sacrilege, firing incidents

Chandigarh: Former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was on Friday questioned by a Special Investigation Team of Punjab Police which is investigating incidents of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the subsequent firing on protesters in 2015.

The SIT, headed by Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Pramod Kumar and Inspector General Kunwar Vijay Pratap, questioned Badal as a witness at his MLA flat in Sector 4, Chandigarh.

Badal later told media that he answered all questions put to him by the SIT officers.

He said he told the SIT that he had not ordered firing on Sikh protesters agitating against the sacrilege incidents in October 2015.

“I have told the SIT everything. I did not order the firing,” Badal, who is over 90 years old, told media after his questioning.

“I think they were fully satisfied with my replies. But the result will be known after they give their report. That I know (what will come in the report). They want to turn us from witness to accused,” Badal said, adding that the report will be “what chief minister Amarinder Singh wants.”

Badal earlier objected to only the SIT member, IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap, coming to question him. Badal spoke to ADGP Pramod Kumar who arrived at his (Badal’s) residence within minutes and the SIT started the questioning.

“I have been head of the state. Can you not come yourself (to question me). If you cannot come, I will come to you,” Badal told ADGP Kumar amid high drama in front of the media, forcing ADGP to arrive there immediately.

The Akali Dal had earlier objected to Kunwar Vijay Pratap being part of the SIT.

Senior Akali Dal leaders, including Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is the son of Badal senior, and MPs, were present at the residence of Badal senior beore the SIT arrived for questioning.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had said earlier that his government had no role in the summoning of the former Chief Minister (Parkash Singh Badal), former deputy chief minister and Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal and actor Akshay Kumar by the SIT.

The SIT was set up by the Amarinder government in September this year to probe cases of sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and the firing ordered on those protesting the sacrilege cases in October 2015 when the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government headed by Parkash Singh Badal was in power in the state.

Two persons were killed in the police firing in Behbal Kalan village near Kotkapura town in Faridkot district.