As Parkash Singh Badal clears deck, CBI to probe sacrilege cases

The Punjab government wants these heinous crimes to be thoroughly probed in an atmosphere of 'complete trust'. 

Amritsar: Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday cleared the deck for transferring the investigation of three cases concerning alleged sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Confirming the development, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) spokesperson Daljit Singh Cheema told ANI that the three separate cases registered at the Baja Khana Police Station in Faridkot - theft of the Guru Granth Sahib, putting up of objectionable posters, and sacrilege of the Guru Granth Sahib (tearing of the holy parts (Angs) of the holy scripture) - would be handed over to the CBI.

Cheema said, "The Chief Minister, who is deeply anguished over the incidents, took the decision to get these cases investigated by the highest investigative agency in the country. And thus, on Sunday evening, he gave his nod to the handing over the cases to the CBI."

"The Chief Minister also took into cognisance the demands made by various religious organisations as well as kin of the accused, and decided to fully respect the sentiments of everyone in this regard," said the Cheema.

Punjab has been witnessing relentless protests by anguished Sikhs for over past two weeks. Two Sikh men were killed allegedly in a police firing during a protest. Several organisations, including Sant Samaj, Damdami Taksal, Panthik Tal Mail Sangathan and Parcharak , often staged strong protests against the state government over inordinate delay in bringing culprits to the book.

Various Sikh organisations, however, have threatened that they would be staging protests till November 15. A 'Sarbat Khalsa' will also be held on November 10 on a call given by Simranjit Singh Mann. However, none of the organisations have withdrawn their protest even after the Chief Minister clearing the deck for a CBI probe.

Adviser to Badal Harcharn Bains said the Chief Minister was "extremely keen" to send a strong message to the perpetrators that such a heinous outrage against the humanity won't work. "The incidents that shook the psyche of people from every religion had particularly left the Sikhs devastated emotionally, leading to public expression of their hurt," he said.

"The Punjab government wants these heinous crimes to be thoroughly probed in an atmosphere of 'complete trust' between the Sikhs and the investigating authorities, and thus the Chief Minister has given his clearance to transfer all the three cases to the central agency." added Bains. 

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