Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh on Tuesday said he had not given any clean chit to ex-Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's family over their alleged involvement in the sacrilege case.
"At no point did I say Parkash Singh Badal, or his son Sukhbir, was not involved in the sacrilege...all I have said was that Badal did not himself go and tear up the holy Guru Granth Sahib. But that does not rule out his involvement in the matter," he said in a statement.
The Chief Minister was reacting to a media report.
"They (the Badals) were as responsible as the men who had indulged in the actual act of desecration that had cascaded into such a grave chain of events for the state and its people," said the Chief Minister.
The Badal family not only failed to prevent the large number of cases of sacrilege that happened under their watch but also allowed the culprits to go scot free, he added.
The Chief Minister said the family, being in power at that time, were totally responsible for the events that led to the sacrilege and the subsequent police firing.
The Badal family cannot not shrug off their culpability on this count, which was as grave a crime as actually tearing off the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib, Singh said.
"As Chief Minister, am I not responsible for the law and order situation in the state today? If there is a spurt of crimes, wouldn't the people and the media blame me?" the Chief Minister asked.
Badal's decision to back the jailed Gurmeet Ram Rahim-led Dera Sacha Sauda in the run-up to the elections was a political move, but it triggered criminal acts, for which their accountability could not be ignored, Amarinder Singh said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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