No clean chit to Akali leadership in Behbal Kalan firing case: Amarinder Singh



Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Monday rejected media reports suggesting the SIT giving a clean chit to the Akali leadership in the 2015 Behbal Kalan police firing case in which two youths were killed. Singh said a single challan submitted by police in the court so far was being erroneously interpreted to mean that the Akalis were innocent in the matter. After accompanying Congress candidate Sher Singh Ghubaya to file his nomination papers from the Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat, where he is pitted against SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, the CM said the media was twisting select information to mean something that had nowhere been concluded by the Special Investigation Team (SIT). The Amarinder Singh-led government had formed an SIT to probe the case related to the killing of two youths in alleged police firing on anti-sacrilege protesters in 2015 in Behbal Kalan of Punjabs Faridkot district. The SIT had, in fact, made it clear that its investigations were still in progress and it would be filing more challans to supplement the one it had filed so far against a single police officer, the chief minister said. How can a partial investigation and a single challan be taken to mean a clean chit to the Akalis, he asked. Singh reiterated that once the probe into the case was completed, anyone found guilty of involvement, howsoever high and mighty, would be punished as per law. He, however, clarified once again that he would not indulge in political vendetta to nail the Badals or anyone else in this or any other case. Earlier, in Rupnagar, he accompanied Congress candidate Manish Tewari in filing his nomination papers. Taking a strong exception to the remarks of his Haryana counterpart on Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, asked Manohar Lal Khattar to stop commenting on the Congress leadership and instead talk about his own state and his own leader Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Why does he not talk of Modi and the BJP in Haryana? asked Singh asked. Khattar had claimed that Congressmen were avoiding seeking votes in the name of their party president Rahul Gandhi, and said instead they were asking for votes in the name of their party or on other grounds. In response to a question, Singh repeated his earlier stand on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), saying the Congress did not need a non-existent outfit with no presence in Punjab. The Congress was well positioned to sweep the Lok Sabha polls in the state on its own, the chief minister added. Asked about the bribery allegations against Congress nominee from the Bathinda seat Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, he said the SDM had already done an inquiry into the charges and found them to be totally wrong. The opposition had no election plank to fight the polls and was indulging in falsehoods and unfounded allegations to mislead the voters, Singh added. The chief minister asserted that Sunil Jakhar would win the Gurdaspur seat hands down, with BJPs Sunny Deol just a fly-by-night candidate who would simply disappear. The BJP has fielded Deol, a Jat Sikh, from the Gurdaspur constituency. He is pitted against sitting MP and Congress candidate Jakhar. Deols rally had been a total flop, Singh added.