The Shiromani Akali Dal on Monday protested against the Justice (retired) Ranjit Singh Commission report on incidents of desecration of religious texts by dumping leaked copies of it outside the Punjab Assembly complex before it was tabled in the House, PTI reported.
The Congress government had set up the one-man commission in April 2017. The Akali Dal has alleged the report was leaked. Commission members have reportedly said it was submitted only to the the chief minister and a copy provided to the home secretary.
Former Punjab Chief Minister and Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal has been named in a supplementary report for his “apparent involvement” in police action against anti-sacrilege protestors at Kotkapura, near Bathinda, about three years ago, The Tribune reported.
The action taken report says since the matter has been referred to the Central Bureau of Investigation, the agency “shall also ascertain whether any act of omission and commission was committed by any other person”.
Akali Dal President Sukhbir Singh Badal accused Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Ranjit Singh and preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal of attempting to weaken his party and divide Sikhs by fabricating evidence. Sukhbir Singh Badal described the report as “waste paper” and said it “has no sanctity”.
Akali Dal legislator Bikram Singh Majithia said the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, Pakistan’s intelligence organisation, was behind the sacrilege incidents with the intent to disturb peace and communal harmony in the state, PTI reported.
Majithia demanded the arrest of Ranjit Singh, who was a judge in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, and Cabinet minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa for allegedly fabricating evidence and leaking a top secret document before it could be tabled in the Assembly. The Akali Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party, its ally, have submitted a notice for breach of privilege to the Speaker KP Singh against those who allegedly leaked the report.
A debate on the report will be held on Tuesday afternoon in the Assembly, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said on Twitter. He condemned the Opposition party’s actions. “They are obviously rattled as Sukhbir Singh Badal and others stand exposed for their shady role in the entire episode,” he added.
Last week, the Punjab Cabinet approved amendments to the Indian Penal Code to make desecration of religious texts punishable with life imprisonment. In June 2016, more than 250 people were booked in Malerkotla after pages of the Quran were reportedly found in the town. The year before, at least four incidents of desecration of the Guru Granth Sahib were reported from across the state, with the Central Bureau of Investigation looking into three of them.