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Panel indicts SAD-BJP, but doesn’t blame Badal
A damaged police vehicle after clashes with Sikh protesters at Kotkapura on October 14, 2015. File photo
Sacrilege aftermath

Panel indicts SAD-BJP, but doesn’t blame Badal

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has indicted the previous SAD-BJP government for its failure to either trace the theft of “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village and for police firing on protesters at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan.

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Ruchika M Khanna

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, August 18

The Justice Ranjit Singh Commission has indicted the previous SAD-BJP government for its failure to either trace the theft of “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village and for police firing on protesters at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan. It, however, stops short of holding former CM Parkash Singh Badal responsible with any degree of surety.

The report, claim sources, has given Badal the benefit of the doubt, saying either he or the then DGP (Sumedh Singh Saini) ordered the use of force against protesters at Kotkapura on October 14, 2015.

Quoting a witness, the report says Badal had agreed with the Faridkot administration and local Akali MLA Mantar Singh Brar that the police should not use force to lift the dharna.

“As per the witness, the situation changed after Brar spoke to DGP Saini thrice on October 14, who assured that the dharna would be lifted within 10 minutes, and this resulted in police action. The decision to use force came from the DGP without giving due consideration to the views of the administration,” an official source, quoted the inquiry report.

The report, it is learnt, says that “the DGP had his ways and the CM also could not tell him to desist from using force”. Several people, who were protesting at Bargari were injured in a stampede caused after the police used force. On the same day, a police team led by the then Moga SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma used force on another group of protesters at Behbal Kalan village, wherein two persons were killed.

Sources say while the report categorically blames top police officers, including Saini, IG PS Umranangal and SSP Sharma among others for use of force on protesters at both Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan, the report is only “indicative” of the complicity of the former CM in the police action, and that too, only in the Kotkapura incident.

It may be mentioned that while Badal and former Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal had declined to appear before the Commission, Saini, too, has not deposed before it even as he was summoned twice. He had only sent an affidavit regarding 12 questions that the Commission had posed to him in the summons in June.

Top cops named

  • Sources say the panel has held police officers Sumedh Singh Saini, Paramraj Singh Umranangal, Amar Singh Chahal, SS Mann, Charanjit Sharma, Raghbir Singh responsible for Kotkapura firing
  • It says that though none of them is seen using firearm, a case be registered against them under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC
  • The FIR in Kotkapura police firing case registered last week has not named any officer

Officers in loop?

  • The report is learnt to have pointed a finger at then Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, Principal Secretary SK Sandhu and Special Principal Secretary Gaggandip Singh Brar 
  • The then Faridkot DC exchanged 22 SMSes with Brar, 21 SMSes and eight calls with Sandhu and sent 23 SMSes to Kaushal 
  • The officers are learnt to have told the Commission that they couldn’t recall the content of messages
Inspector, sister stabbed to death in Kapurthala

Inspector, sister stabbed to death in Kapurthala

19 Aug 2018 | 3:07 PM

KAPURTHALA: A police officer and his sister were stabbed to death on Saturday night, police said on Sunday. The victims were identified as Inspector Chandan Kumar, who was posted at Kapurthala, and his sister Bindu Bala.

Pakistan should allow access to Kartapur: Former minister MS Gill

Pakistan should allow access to Kartapur: Former minister MS Gill

19 Aug 2018 | 5:45 PM

NEW DELHI: Former Union Minister MS Gill on Sunday congratulated Punjab Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu for taking the initiative to open an access across river Ravi in Dera Baba Nanak for pilgrims from India to visit to pay homage to Guru Nanak on his 550th birth anniversary.

Bike-borne trio fires at cops, frees drug peddler

Bike-borne trio fires at cops, frees drug peddler

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

FEROZEPUR: Three motorcycle-borne assailants freed a cross-border drug peddler from custody after opening fire at a police team here on Saturday.

Six labourers die, 5 injured in wall collapse in Punjab

19 Aug 2018 | 5:16 PM

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Six labourers died and five were injured on Sunday after the wall of an under-construction rice mill collapsed at Lakhanpur village in Khamano.

Liquor smugglers open fire at police, five arrested, 5 flee

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

SANGRUR: A group of liquor smugglers allegedly opened fire on a police party of the Ranike police post here on Saturday.

CM’s tribute –fine human being

CM’s tribute –fine human being

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh visited the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee here on Saturday to pay homage to the departed leader.

Cong defends Sidhu’s Pakistan visit

Cong defends Sidhu’s Pakistan visit

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday defended the Pakistan visit of Punjab Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu, calling it a step in the right direction.

Longowal writes to Rajnath, CMs over atrocities on Sikhs

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

AMRITSAR: Gobind Singh Longowal, SGPC president, has asserted that violent incidents with the minority Sikh community in different parts of the country are like reminding them of being second-class citizens in the country.

Cong MPs, MLAs to donate month’s salary for Kerala

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

CHANDIGARH: All MPs and MLAs of the Punjab Congress, led by CM Capt Amarinder Singh, will donate their one-month salary to support the Kerala flood relief measures.

SC acquits man in 21-year-old NDPS case

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

NEW DELHI: Ruling that a fair investigation is a part of right to fair trial guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has set aside the conviction under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of a man from Punjab who was allegedly caught with 4 kg opium by a police officer.

CJ to launch online feedback for litigants

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court is set to launch a formal online system for receiving feedback from litigants.

Not ‘picked’ in kabaddi team, girl ends life

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

MUKTSAR: Depressed over not being selected in the kabaddi team, a 17-year-old girl allegedly consumed poison at her residence here on Saturday.

Former Chief Secy Chhina dies at 98

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

CHANDIGARH: Former Punjab Chief Secretary Hardev Singh Chhina (98) died on Sunday.

Inter-state gang of robbers busted

Inter-state gang of robbers busted

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

KHANNA: The Khanna police claimed to have busted an inter-state gang, involved in at least 36 robberies, with the arrest of seven of its members.

Day after CBI raids, IG shifted

Day after CBI raids, IG shifted

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

Chandigarh: A day after CBI officials raided the office and residence of Ferozepur Range IG Gurinder Singh Dhillon in a graft case, the state government transferred him on Saturday.

Rajindra Hospital gets Rs 60 crore

Rajindra Hospital gets Rs 60 crore

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

PATIALA:The Government Rajindra Hospital, which was reeling under fund crunch, has got a major financial boost as the Punjab Government sanctioned around Rs 60 crore for various development projects.

Congress out to save ex-CM: AAP

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Saturday alleged that the Congress government was trying to save former CM Parkash Singh Badal by handing over the probe into the Behbal Kalan firing incident to the CBI.

60 AAP workers have joined Cong: Singla

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

SANGRUR: Cabinet Minister Vijay Inder Singla on Saturday claimed that nearly 60 AAP volunteers from five villages of Bhawanigarh block have joined the Congress.

Kejriwal to visit Barnala today

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

Sangrur: AAP Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann on Saturday said party convener Arvind Kejriwal would attend the bhog of Mehal Kalan MLA Kulwant Singh’s father at Pandori village on Sunday.

Four booked for killing man

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

FAZILKA: Dilbagh Singh (38) has allegedly been killed by four persons at Jorkin Andhiwali village of Fazilka district over old enmity.

Abohar man held for smuggling cattle

19 Aug 2018 | 2:09 AM

ABOHAR: The Hanumangarh police had to seek assistance from their counterparts at Sadar police station here on Saturday when some villagers at Kala Tibba, 7 km from here, opposed the arrest of an alleged cattle smuggler.

SC acquits Punjab man in 21-year-old NDPS case

SC acquits Punjab man in 21-year-old NDPS case

18 Aug 2018 | 8:30 PM

NEW DELHI: Ruling that a fair investigation is a part of right to fair trial guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court has set aside the conviction under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act of a man from Punjab who was allegedly caught with 4-kg opium by a police officer.

Gangster, accomplice arrested in Punjab; arms, ammunition seized

Gangster, accomplice arrested in Punjab; arms, ammunition seized

18 Aug 2018 | 7:11 PM

NAWANSHAHR: Police on Saturday claimed to have arrested a gangster and one of his accomplices within hours of robbing a motorcycle from a youth and cash from an employee of a liquor shop.

Sidhu should’ve refused to sit with Masood Khan, shouldn’t have hugged Bajwa: BJP

Sidhu should’ve refused to sit with Masood Khan, shouldn’t have hugged Bajwa: BJP

18 Aug 2018 | 6:32 PM

NEW DELHI: Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu’s “behaviour” at the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan in Islamabad has earned him sharp rebuke from his former party—the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Amarinder visits Vajpayee’s residence to pay respects

Amarinder visits Vajpayee’s residence to pay respects

18 Aug 2018 | 6:04 PM

NEW DELHI: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Saturday visited the residence of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to pay his respects.

Sukhbir asks Swaraj to take up issue of hate crimes with US

Sukhbir asks Swaraj to take up issue of hate crimes with US

18 Aug 2018 | 11:00 PM

CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Saturday urged External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take up with the US government the issue of repeated hate crimes against Sikhs in that country.

Jilted Phagwara woman live-streams her suicide on social media

Jilted Phagwara woman live-streams her suicide on social media

18 Aug 2018 | 10:54 PM

PHAGWARA: An 18-year-old woman allegedly committed suicide after being jilted by her boyfriend and live-streamed it on social media, police said on Saturday.

Court admits retired judge’s pension plea

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

CHANDIGARH:Less than six months after a retired Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, Justice Raj Rahul Garg, approached the Bench for justice in a case regarding the release of pension benefits, a Division Bench has allowed her plea.

Three arrested for killing neighbour

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Abohar: The police in Sriganganagar on Friday arrested Baldev Singh, his wife Sukhwinder Kaur and son Suraj Singh in connection with the death of their neighbour Gurtej Singh during a fight.

CM announces Rs 10 crore for flood-hit Kerala

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh has announced Rs 10 crore relief for flood-hit Kerala.

Rape accused held

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Abohar: The police have arrested Dilraj Singh who had been booked under Section 376 of the IPC and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act.

Roadways employee held for graft

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Muktsar: Vigilance Bureau sleuths nabbed an employee of the Punjab Roadways red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 3,500 from a bus conductor here on Friday.

Shopkeeper booked for molestation

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Sangrur: The Bhawanigarh police have registered a case against a local shopkeeper for allegedly molesting a seven-year-old girl.

Badal skips funeral due to poor health

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Muktsar: Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch-cum-former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday skipped the funeral of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee due to health reasons.

Applications invited for scholarships

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

Chandigarh:The Social Security, Women and Child Development Department, Punjab, has invited applications for awarding pre and post matric scholarships for students with disabilities in accordance with the guidelines of the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment).

Two commit suicide

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

ABOHAR: A 50-year-old unidentified man reportedly ended his life by hanging himself from a tree at Chak 1ZWA village in Sriganganagar.

Cracks develop in feeder canal, repair in progress

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

MUKTSAR: The authorities concerned have decreased the water flow in the Rajasthan Feeder canal.

Muktsar admn detects irregularities under MGNREGA at model village

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

MUKTSAR: After a special audit under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) found huge irregularities, including submission of fake bills for development of Sakkanwali model village here, the district administration in its physical verification done through the Rural Development Department has found that some excess material was used.

No toilets, rains make it worse for Dalit families

No toilets, rains make it worse for Dalit families

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

SANGRUR: Though rains have brought respite from heat for area residents, it has multiplied the problems of 25 Dalit families of Naraingarh village of the district.

MLA’s guard injured as gun goes off

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

PHAGWARA: Nirmal Singh, gunman of Phagwara MLA Som Parkash, was critically injured after he was hit by a bullet fired from his own gun at his police quarters here on Thursday night.

Car hits bridge parapet, 2 killed

Car hits bridge parapet, 2 killed

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

RAIKOT: Two persons were killed and one injured when their car rammed into the parapet of a bridge near Dadhahoor village on the Raikot-Barnala road on Friday.

Record time when challan is presented, court tells judges

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed all the district and sessions judges in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to ensure that the time of presenting challan before the court in criminal cases is recorded by judicial officers.

WAR ON DRUGS

BSF recovers 2 Pak SIMs, heroin

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

FEROZEPUR: BSF sleuths of the 105 Battalion on Friday seized two Pakistani SIMs and 330 gm of heroin near the Old Mohamddi Wala border outpost in Ferozepur sector.

Paddy MSP hike hits govt’s crop diversification plan

Paddy MSP hike hits govt’s crop diversification plan

18 Aug 2018 | 1:44 AM

CHANDIGARH: The state government’s ambitious crop diversification plan has been hit this year, thanks to the hike in the MSP of paddy by Rs 170 per quintal.

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