Friday , October 22 2021

No faith in CBI on Bargari sacrilege probe: Punjab CM

Chandigarh, Sep 26 (IANS) Asserting that the state has no faith in the CBI probe into the Bargari sacrilege case, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Thursday said his government would not, under any ciurcumstances, allow former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and family to prevent the investigation from going back to the Punjab Police.

Even as the state has formally contested in a court the CBI’s decision to hand over the Bargari investigation to a Special Investigation Team (SIT), the Chief Minister said the CBI, clearly acting under pressure from the Central government at the behest of Badal, was trying to stop the probe from going ahead.

The decision to hand over the case to a new SIT, three months after the CBI had filed a closure report in a court, was a clear ploy to delay the probe and stop the state government from taking over, Amarinder Singh said.

His government would continue to oppose the CBI in the court and would also fight for getting the case back to the state, he added.

“We will not let anyone get away with cheating the people of Punjab out of their due justice,” the Chief Minister said in a statement.

He also came down heavily on the Akali leadership, particularly Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, saying she should either persuade the Centre to send the case to the state or should resign.

He reminded her that her party, the Shiromani Akali Dal, was part of the unanimous decision of the Vidhan Sabha to withdraw the case from the CBI.

Since Harsimrat Kaur Badal claimed to be a vociferous protector of Sikh rights and sentiments, she should prove her credibility by fighting within the Central government to get the Bargari case back to the Punjab Police for a fair probe, he added.

He noted that in the wake of the closure report, the Central agency had failed to return the case files to the state police despite the repeated pleas and efforts of the state government and the CBI had exposed itself to be totally unfair in the entire affair.

The failure was clearly deliberate and mischievous, so that the agency could buy time to divert the case to the new SIT, for its eventual burial, he added.

Argueing before the court, Advocate General Atul Nanda said the state was contesting the CBI decision on the ground that once it had withdrawn its consent on September 6 under Section 6 of the Delhi Police Establishment Act, there was no jurisdiction for the CBI to continue the investigation.

“They are obliged in law to hand over all the papers to us so that, as desired by the Vidhan Sabha, our SIT can take things in their own hand, and what they could not do in three years, the state police may be able to do in a shorter period,” he said.



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