Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh has gone in a damage control mode after facing political furore over the Punjab and Haryana High Court order junking its probe into 2015 Kotkapura firing incident. The order has set off flurry of angry reactions from both within and outside the Congress party.
Senior Congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa sought resignation of the Advocate General, alleging a lax legal battle put up by the state government. Another party leader and former cabinet minister, Navjot Singh Sidhu, took digs at the government for “failing to deliver justice" for those killed in the incident.
The HC’s quashing has had administrative fall outs as well with senior IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who headed the Punjab government appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT), resigning from his services. Singh on Friday met Punjab Governor VP Singh Badnore after the chief minister rejected his resignation. Describing his meeting with the governor “personal", Singh ruled out taking back his resignation.
The chief minister on Friday convened a meeting with PCC chief Sunil Jakhar and cabinet ministers including Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhbinder Sarkaria, Sukhjinder Randhawa, Faridkot MLA Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon and political secretary to CM Capt Sandeep Singh Sandhu to evaluate the fallout of the order on both political as well as legal front.
According to sources, the Chief Minister has asked the legal teams to finalise petition that would challenge the high court order and a special legal team could be constituted for the same. On the political front, the government is planning to involve party leaders and create ‘awareness’ on the steps that it had taken to ensure justice is delivered to the victims.
The government also evaluated the demand of party leaders to make the findings of the SIT probe into the sacrilege case public. However, a final call will be taken on this only after more deliberations, sources told News18.
It is pertinent to mention that the SIT probe had raised questions over the handling of the incident by the then Shiromani Akali Dal government. The Bargari sacrilege incident and Kotkapura firing incidents are believed to have led to the downfall of the SAD-BJP government in the 2017 Assembly elections.