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Congress to table probe report in House, highlight SAD-BJP ‘lapses’

Chandigarh, August 20: The Congress government is set to hold a debate in the upcoming Vidhan Sabha session on the findings of the Justice Ranjit Singh (retd) Commission report regarding the incidents of sacrilege and police action at Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan in 2015.

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The report will be tabled in the Vidhan Sabha, probably on the first day of the session beginning on August 24, sources said. The ruling party intends to highlight the then SAD-BJP government’s “lapses” on various counts: the untraced ‘bir’ of Guru Granth Sahib, which had gone missing from Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village (Faridkot) in June 2015; “mishandling” of the anti-sacrilege protests at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura; and the alleged immunity granted to erring followers of Dera Sacha Sauda by the then government.

In an interview with The Tribune, Housing and Rural Development Minister Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa said it was the prerogative of the Leader of the House and the Vidhan Sabha Speaker to decide whether there would be a discussion/debate on the Commission report.

“I have not read the report. I only know what has appeared in the media. But yes, desecration of a religious book is a very emotional issue for the people of Punjab. People have the right to know what went wrong and who are responsible for the sacrilege incidents. It was a law and order situation that needed to be tackled intelligently, but they created chaos and Punjab was burning.” He added: “The then government’s failure will be discussed. It will have a bearing on the parliamentary elections.”

When asked about the Congress government’s intervention in Sikh affairs, Bajwa denied that the party was raking up Panthic issues. He also denied that he was mediating between Panthic leaders sitting on dharna at Behbal Kalan village or that the state government was backing these leaders, as alleged by the ruling party’s political opponents.

“It’s the Akali Dal and the BJP which use religion to divide the people for political gains, not the Congress. Prime Minister Narendra Modi sees a bleak political future for himself and thus indulges in religion-based politics. It’s the Akali Dal that is going in for Panthic politics. Capt Amarinder Singh has always believed that if a dharna is peaceful, there is no need to use force. Once the Ranjit Singh Commission report is tabled in the Assembly and the guilty are identified and punished, these people will end their protest,” he added.

On the panchayat elections scheduled for September, Bajwa said the government was keen to end the election process by October 7, though the decision had to be taken by the state election commission.

Source Tribune India

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