Firing case: Punjab CM ridicules Sukhbir reaction to HC order

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Chandigarh: Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh talks to the media in Chandigarh on June 29, 2020. Talking to the media, Singh on Monday said there would be no further lockdown and appealed the people to strictly adhere to the safety protocols. (Photo: IANS)

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Sunday ridiculed Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Badal’s reactions on the high court ‘decision’ in the Kotkapura firing case, noting the court is yet to release its order and urging him to refrain from celebrating as the matter was far from being over.

“At least wait for the copy of the orders, before claiming victory,” he told the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) President, mocking his reaction to the reported Punjab and Haryana High Court decision on the investigation into the 2015 incident by Punjab Police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT).

The fact is that there has been no official announcement yet of the court verdict, he said.

“In any case, whatever the verdict in the matter, I stand by the investigation of the SIT, which has, at no point, absolved the Badal family of involvement in the heinous incident, that led to innocent people losing their lives,” Amarinder Singh said, vowing to ensure justice for the families and punishment for the guilty, irrespective of who they are.

Reiterating that his government will challenge any court order that either quashes the SIT probe or removes the officer in charge, Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, the Chief Minister said Badal’s “desperation to celebrate his non-victory exposed his panic in the face of what he must have seen as writing on the wall, given the direction in which the SIT investigation was pointing”.

The SIT has so far chargesheeted six persons in the Kotkapura case, including then Kotkapura Akali MLA Mantar Singh Brar.

The charge sheet against Brar clearly mentions that “in the analysis of the call details, it has been established that he made phone calls to then Chief Minister of Parkash Singh Badal through the Special Principal Secretary to the CM (Gagandeep Singh Brar,) and OSD to the CM Gurcharan Singh”.

Amarinder Singh also hit out at derided Sukhbir Badal’s attempt “to wriggle out of the corner in which he finds himself in the light of the charge sheet against Brar by screaming vendetta and witch-hunt”.

Nothing else explains the haste of the former Deputy CM and the Home Minister of Punjab to seek validation of his innocence in a high court order that is yet to come, he added.

He also alleged that the Badal family had left no stone unturned in the past four years to scuttle the probe in the case, which they had been responsible for handing over to the CBI in the first place.

“As part of the ruling coalition at the Centre, the SAD had pulled all the stops to prevent the probe from reaching its logical conclusion, forcing the present government to fight to get the case back from the central agency and hand it over to the SIT to complete the investigation,” he said.

The Chief Minister also took a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for trying to make political capital over the issue with their “frivolous and unfounded allegations”.

“Like Sukhbir, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann has also been shooting through his mouth without knowing the high court’s mind,” he said, terming Mann’s charge of collusion between the Congress and SAD on the issue “ludicrous” and “logic-defying”.

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