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Kotkapura firing: Formation of new SIT for probe a ploy to delay justice, alleges Oppn

·2-min read

Chandigarh, May 8 (PTI) The Aam Aadmi Party and the BJP on Saturday rejected the Punjab government's decision to constitute a new special investigation team to probe the 2015 Kotkapura firing incident, alleging that it was a ploy to shield the culprits and delay the justice.

AAP’s state unit president and MP Bhagwant Mann said the new SIT was formed to mislead and cheat the public.

'This was only a betrayal of the sentiments of the people of Punjab because if Amarinder Singh's government was serious about this matter, it would have appealed against the quashing of the SIT probe to a double bench of the High Court,' he said in a statement.

Mann alleged that the government is trying to save the accused in the case by deliberately dragging it for long.

BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh charged the Amarinder Singh government with taking recourse to invasive methods to shield people responsible for the desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib in Punjab’s Faridkot in 2015.

Chugh said there is no international conspiracy in the case, for which an SIT is needed.

'There have been a series of incidents of sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib following which the Kotkapura police firing incident took place for which simple magisterial or judicial inquiry should have sufficed but the chief minister is bent upon not letting justice come about,' he said in a statement.

He questioned the propriety of forming yet another police SIT to investigate the firing incident after the earlier SIT report was quashed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and said that the new SIT has been formed to put the entire matter in cold store and let the culprit go scot-free.

He said the chief minister was just whiling away time with the formation of SITs and giving culprits a long rope.

Congress MP Partap Singh Bajwa too asked the Punjab government to expedite the investigation and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice as soon as possible.

He said the High Court has given a time frame of six months in its order, which means that the investigation should be concluded before that.

There is no restriction on the state government to fix a time frame of less than six months. Given that there exists information from the previous SIT, the government should pass an order to fix a shorter time frame, said Bajwa in a statement.

Acting on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, the Punjab government on Friday constituted a new three-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the Kotkapura police firing incident, which took place during a protest against the desecration of the religious text six years ago in Punjab's Faridkot.

The High Court had on April 9 quashed a report by an earlier Punjab Police SIT and directed the state government to set up a new SIT. PTI CHS VSD RDK RDK