Key de­mands met, rad­i­cals had noth­ing to protest for

Hindustan Times (Patiala) - - Punjab - Ravin­der Va­sudeva ravin­­[email protected]­dus­tan­

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.


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