CAST OF CHARACTERS
Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu:
A prominent dera figure in Malwa region and bakery owner from Kotkapura was the mastermind of the sacrilege. On June 8, the SIT arrested him from Palampur. He had a longstanding enmity with Sikh leaders in the region. He would often challenge Sikh preachers when they spoke against the Sirsa dera head.
Harjinder Singh Manjhi:
A Sikh preacher whose discourse at Burj Jawahar
Singh Wala triggered the sacrilege. In March 2015, Manjhi held a discourse in the village in which he convinced some followers to renounce the dera. Dera leaders of the area conspired to avenge this insult by carrying out the sacrilege.
Baljit Singh Daduwal:
A Sikh radical leader having a dera at Kotshamir in Bathinda district, he has remained at loggerheads with dera followers in Malwa. Once close to Badals, later their relations soured.
The SIT says the dera follower accused of sacrilege planned to kill him. But that plan was not implemented as it did not get the nod from the Sirsa dera headquarters. Alongwith Panthpreet, he was face of the demonstrations against sacrilege.
RS Khatra, Punjab Police DIG:
Head of the SIT team constituted during the
SAD-BJP government. He was not investigating cases of Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari as they were handed over to the CBI. He was probing the sacrilege incidents in nearby Gurusar and Malke from where leads of these cases emerged and he cracked the entire conspiracy.
Charanjit Sharma (retd SSP):
He was the Faridkot
SSP when the sacrilege incident at Burj Jawahar
Singh Wala happened. He was leading the police team that clashed with Sikh protesters at Behbal Kalan, killing two people. He was booked for murder with three other cops.
Rakesh Dirba: Personal assistant to the dera head, the SIT says, Rakesh of Dirba town in Sangrur was the key link in getting the nod for sacrilege from the dera headquarters. It’s not clear if the dera head was part of the conspiracy. At present, Ram Rahim is jailed in Rohtak for raping two women followers.