Former CM Parkash Singh Badal ‘apparently involved’ in police action at Kotkapura

Punjab’s proposed amendment to blasphemy law Section 295 AA:

The Punjab government has issued showcause notices to 32 officers, including over a dozen from the police department, who have been indicted by the Ranjit Singh Commission.

The officials met DGP Suresh Arora after the Department of Home Affairs had sought their explanation. Former DGP Sumedh Singh Saini was also issued a showcause notice

The 14 senior officers who have been issued showcause notices include the then SSP Moga, Charanjit Singh Sharma; the then DIG Ferozepur range, Amar Singh Chahal; Addl DGP, Law and Order, Rohit Chaudhary; and Charanjit Singh Sharma.

For the civil officers, whose names have come up in the report, the action taken report says that Chief Secretary, Punjab, Karan Avtar Singh has been asked to initiate disciplinary action against them as per the recommendations of the commission and complete the same within 90 days.

However, no names have been taken of any officers in the Action Taken Report (ATR). The names of officers — then Chief Secretary Sarvesh Kaushal, then PS to CM S K Sandhu and then special PS to CM, Gaggandip Singh Brar, appear only in the final report of the Commission. The officers also include 10 junior-rank officers.  

Former Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has been named in the supplementary report of the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission for his “apparent involvement” in the police action on anti-sacrilege protesters at Kotkapura about three years ago.

The supplementary report, submitted on August 16, after the report had been leaked and the government drew flak over not naming the Badals as accused, now says, “…earlier the commission had in its report observed that the facts might indicate the involvement of the CMO, but it is now clear that the Chief Minister and the CMO were apparently kept in the loop about the action proposed by the police and the action finally taken at Kotkapura. This supplementary report may be read in conjunction with the findings and observations recorded by the Commission from pages 50-55”.