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Congress, Akali Dal Butt Heads in Punjab Assembly Over 2015 Sacrilege Case

The panel’s first report had said Badal and his son Sukhbir secured Akal Takht’s pardon for Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim in September 2015 to facilitate release of the sect head’s movie.

Ramlal Kondal | News18

Updated:August 28, 2018, 3:30 PM IST
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Congress, Akali Dal Butt Heads in Punjab Assembly Over 2015 Sacrilege Case
Protesting the report, the SAD MLAs staged a walk out on Tuesday, following which they conducted a mock session outside the Assembly.
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Chandigarh: The Punjab Assembly witnessed unruly scenes on Tuesday as Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) legislators stormed into the Well of the House and raised slogans against the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission report.

A report submitted by the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) commission into sacrilege incidents and subsequent police firing in 2015 in Punjab was tabled in the Assembly on Monday, with its supplementary report pointing a finger at then Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal for police action against anti-sacrilege protesters.

Protesting the report, the SAD MLAs staged a walk out on Tuesday, following which they conducted a mock session outside the Assembly.

The party alleged that they were allotted very less time to debate the report, which was prepared by the Commission that Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had constituted.

Speaker Rana KP Singh told the SAD leaders that the time could be increased, but it would distributed in proportion to the strength of the parties.

However, the members were not satisfied with the time allotment.

“We were allotted a mere 14 minutes for the debate on such an important issue. The Congress knows that it would have been exposed if we had been given more time,” SAD president and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal said.

The panel’s first report had said Badal and his son Sukhbir secured Akal Takht’s pardon for Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim in September 2015 to facilitate release of the sect head’s movie. Though the edict was revoked after backlash from Sikh bodies, the panel says it had a “devastating effect and played the role of catalyst in sacrilege incidents”.

It has also put Sukhbir, the then home minister, in the dock for “showing no involvement and seriousness” in solving sacrilege cases.

It concluded that the police had kept Badal in the loop while taking action to break the sit-in protest by the Sikhs against the sacrilege.
| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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