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Summoned by SIT, Former Punjab Top Cop Says Sacrilege Firing Incidents Being Used for Political Mileage

Refuting the accusations that he had ordered firing on ‘peaceful protestors’ in Kotkapura, Saini said that it was done on the basis of “written orders of the magistrate".

Ramlal Kondal | News18

Updated:February 23, 2019, 11:21 PM IST
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Summoned by SIT, Former Punjab Top Cop Says  Sacrilege Firing Incidents Being Used for Political Mileage
File photo of former Punjab DGP Sumedh Singh Saini.
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Chandigarh: The former Director General of Punjab Police Sumedh Singh Saini has alleged that the sacrilege firing incidents in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in Faridkot district is being used for political gains. The former top cop has been summoned by the SIT probing the incident on February 25.

He has denied all the allegations leveled against him, adding that politics is being played for vested interests.

The firing incidents in Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan had taken place when Saini was the DGP of the state.

Saini, in an interview with News18, said that no one still knows the truth about the firing incident even though three years have passed since them.

Terming the death of protesters in Behbal Kalan as ‘unfortunate’, Saini said, “The incident is being used to draw political mileage. No one really wants to know what actually happened. Nobody wants to nab the culprits, only politics is being played. There is no sincerity to provided justice to the aggrieved families.”

Refuting the accusations that he had ordered firing on ‘peaceful protestors’ in Kotkapura, Saini said that it was done on the basis of “written orders of the magistrate".

“Radical elements had started gathering in Kotkapura. The police had been peacefully removing the protestors from the site when a group of protestors suddenly started clashing with the protestors,” he said.

“In the ensuing violence 40 policemen were injured. Everything is clear in the video footages,” Saini added.

“Fabricated stories have been circulated for vested interests. It is wrong,” he added.

On the question of his repeated phone calls to the then chief minister Prakash Singh Badal, Saini said that a law and order situation has arisen in the state. “How can one expect the DGP to not to talk to the chief minister in such circumstances?” questioned Saini.

“I talked to several other officers then,” he added.

He also termed the allegations against former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal for ordering firing as ‘baseless’.

He also defended IG Paramraj Singh Umranangal, the then Ludhiana Police Commissioner who was recently arrested in the case by the SIT. Saini said that Umranangal and other police officers were sent to Kotkapura by him as there was not enough police force.

Saini alleged that the Amarinder Singh government in Punjab is playing into the hands of radicals. “You have Referendum 2020 around the corner. It’s a call given by separatists. The whole of Punjab is dotted with hoardings of Referendum 2002. No action is being taken on them. Separatist elements are being emboldened while nationalist cops like Umranangal are being arrested,” Saini said.

Saini said he would extend his cooperation to the SIT when he is summoned.

Earlier on Wednesday, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hinted at a high-profile arrest in the firing cases. In his reply to the Governor’s address in the Vidhan Sabha, Singh said, “Based on what has come out after Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report, the matter is going to go very high. I will say this much only.”
| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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