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Punjab

Posted at: Sep 15, 2018, 1:51 AM; last updated: Sep 15, 2018, 1:51 AM (IST)

CBI court grants bail to sacrilege accused

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, September 14

In a setback to the state government, the CBI has allowed bail to one of the main accused in a sacrilege case.

Shakti Singh, who was arrested by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by DIG RS Khatra, was granted bail by Special Judicial Magistrate, CBI, Jatinderpal Singh on Wednesday after the investigating agency said it had no objection to the same.

The Congress government is under pressure from Panthic organisations to ensure exemplary punishment for sacrilege accused.

The SIT had in June arrested Shakti and nine others, all associated with Dera Sacha Sauda, in the 2011 Moga arson case. A few days later, the SIT claimed that this group, headed by Maninder Singh Bittu, had stolen and torn pages of Guru Granth Sahib and strewn these in 2015. All these accused are under arrest.

The SIT was working on the case even though the investigation was taken over by the CBI. Later, the SIT handed over all accused and the investigation report to the CBI.

Punjab Police officials said Shakti was given bail as the CBI did not file the requisite challan against the accused within 60 days. CBI officials could not be contacted.

DIG Khatra said Shakti would remain behind bars as he had not got bail in the Moga arson case. He declined to comment on the bail allowed by the CBI in the sacrilege case.

As per the SIT report, Shakti had bought 10 blank pages from Gopal Kumar of Bargari village and later given these to co-accused Sunny for preparing controversial posters about the Sikh holy book.

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