Key demands met, radicals had nothing to protest for
CHANDIGARH : With the Bargari Insaaf Morcha organisers likely to call off their six-month-long sit-in, the state government handled the issue in a way that it fulfilled all key demands of the Sikh hardliners who were left with nothing concrete to carry out the protest further.
One of the morcha’s main demand of making public the Ranjit Singh Commission report and taking action on its recommendations was fulfilled by the government as soon as the report was tabled in the Vidhan Sabha on August 27.
The commission of inquiry, constituted by chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh soon after the Congress formed government in the state, also discredited the Badals and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), something the Sikh radicals sitting on dharna were expecting from the government.
The report also nailed the Badals on the pardon granted by then Akal Takht jathedar Giani Gurbachan Singh to Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim in a blasphemy case and tried to unearth the role of the main players behind the pardon.
Another key demand of the protesters to book police officials, responsible for firing at Sikh protesters at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, by name was also met.
The chief minister during the debate on the Ranjit panel report had announced to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe both sacrilege and police firing and take back the cases of sacrilege from the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The special investigation teamalso questioned former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, his son and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) president Sukhbir Singh Badal and Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar, conveying successfully to the Sikh community at large that the state government was not going soft on the Badals.
The SIT has questioned more than 200 government officials and other individuals in connection with the case.
Also, the government has successfully conveyed to the morcha organisers that their demand to arrest the police officials (serving and retired) responsible for firing cannot be fulfilled since some of them have got stay order on their arrest from the Punjab and Haryana high court, a senior state government functionary said.
The protesters have been told that these officials won’t be spared as soon as stay is vacated, said sources.
The fact that SIT was effectively led by deputy inspector general (DIG) Ranbir Singh Khatra also played a pivotal role in pacifying the protesters at the Bargari site.
Not only this, SIT arrested Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda functionaries and followers allegedly behind the series of sacrilege incidents within 10 days the dharna began on June 1.
Later, the Khatra-led SIT also claimed to have solved the cases of sacrilege.
“During the fresh negotiations between the representatives of the state government and the Sikh hardliners, even the dharna organisers were convinced that the former did its best to fulfil their demands, said a senior official privy to the development.
The demand to press for an early release of Sikh prisoners lodged in jails cannot be fulfilled as even the protesters knew the matter is out of the state government’s purview,” the official said.
THEIR MAIN DEMAND FOR MAKING RANJIT SINGH COMMISSION REPORT PUBLIC AND TAKING ACTION ON ITS RECOMMENDATIONS WAS FULFILLED