“The Akalis were playing into the hands of Pakistan’s ISI, which wanted to disturb Punjab’s peace”.
The Hush Post: Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Tuesday held former chief minister Prakash Singh Badal squarely responsible for the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan firing incidents. In a press release issued here today, the chief minister asserted that the Akali veteran had ruined Punjab and vowed to go hammer and tongs after Badal and fix him.
Reiterating that there was no question of going soft on the former Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder said that it was not possible that Badal was not aware of the police firing.
‘The SIT probe report into the incident would go to the courts and the truth would come out’, said the Chief Minister, adding that ‘the decision to withdraw the investigation from CBI and hand it over to a Punjab Police SIT was taken by the state assembly, which felt the BJP-led government at the Centre could influence the central agency as the BJP was an ally of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’.
Reacting to Badal’s assertion that he was ready to swear that he did not know about the firing, Capt Amarinder dismissed it as a gimmick to divert public attention from his role in the incident. ‘How many times has he falsely sworn at the Akal Takht’, asked Capt Amarinder.
‘How is it possible that the CM did not know about the firing’, the Chief Minister asked, pointing out that former DGP Sumedh Saini had clearly stated before the Ranjit Singh Commission that Badal had asked him to disperse the crowd forcibly. ‘If something happens in my state then as CM I cannot take refuge in such lies and should be thrown out if I am not aware of what is happening right under my nose, he asserted, adding that as per the Commission’s findings, as many as 22 calls were made to Badal before the firing took place’.
‘Badal was an expert liar who would manufacture lies every time to become chief minister’, said Capt Amarinder, adding that ‘he knew the Akali leader personally and closely’.
The Chief Minister pointed out that Badal did not even take action on the findings of the Zora Commission, which was set up by his own government to investigate the Bargari sacrilege and the subsequent firing incidents.
‘The people of Punjab were fully aware of the Badals’ strategy of inciting communal clashes in the state ahead of any election’, said Capt Amarinder, adding that’ the Akalis were playing into the hands of Pakistan’s ISI, which wanted to disturb Punjab’s peace’.
On the resignation threat of AAP leader HS Phoolka, the Chief Minister said he was just indulging in cheap gimmicks to remain in public limelight. ‘As a lawyer, Phoolka should know there is a system that needs to be followed and the SIT needs to be given time to get to the bottom of the incidents before anyone can be brought to book’, he said.