Holy book desecration: PPP seeks inquiry by sitting HC judge

People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday rejected the setting up of a Judicial Commission headed by Justice (retd) Zora Singh of Punjab and Haryana High Court over alleged sacrilege of Sikh holy book in Faridkot district and its aftermath.

Bathinda: People's Party of Punjab (PPP) president Manpreet Singh Badal on Friday rejected the setting up of a Judicial Commission headed by Justice (retd) Zora Singh of Punjab and Haryana High Court over alleged sacrilege of Sikh holy book in Faridkot district and its aftermath.

Stating the issue was too "sensitive with far reaching serious ramifications", he reiterated that a probe only by a sitting judge can bring out the truth behind the events.

"Punjab has passed through the worst phase lasting more than a decade in which thousands of lives were lost and those situations were also triggered by similar incidents," Manpreet said.

He expressed "shock" on why the police did not act when the Bir of Guru Granth Sahib was reported missing from Jawaharke village on June 1.

The incident of the alleged sacrilege from nearby Bargari village has been reported a few days back during the farmers' agitation in the state but talks with Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal ended in stalemate, he said.

"The entire issue has now been diverted", he said.

The PPP leader noted that it was intriguing that the two situations had coincided and it is the religious issue that has overtaken the economic issue of the deepening agrarian crisis.

Expressing disappointment over the death of two persons in police action over the incident, Manpreet said that as per reports police pounced upon the agitators staging dharna peacefully at Kotkapura without any provocation or warning.

He also questioned the "mishandling" of the entire situation by the Akali Dal-BJP alliance government in the state, right from the farmers' strike.

It was the cumulative anger that had now spilled out on the roads, Manpreet added.

Locals had erupted into protest after torn pages of the Sikh holy book were found at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village of Faridkot on June 1. It was claimed that the holy book was stolen from a gurdwara.

Two persons Gurjit Singh (26) and Krishan Singh (43) were killed on Wednesday during clashes between Sikh protesters and police in Behbal Kalan village over the alleged desecration of holy book.

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