Punjab Government Recommends CBI Probe Into Desecration Incidents

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Punjab Government Recommends CBI Probe Into Desecration Incidents

Protesting Sikh groups say two brothers arrested over the incidents have been falsely implicated. (Press Trust of India photo)

Chandigarh:  Still facing protests over incidents of desecration of the Sikh Holy Book in the state that have continued for three weeks now, the Punjab government today recommended the matter to Central Bureau of Investigation for a fresh probe.

The Sikh groups spearheading protests against the Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal's government had rejected an investigation by the Punjab police into the incidents.

A Special Investigation Team had arrested two brothers for the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in Bargari village of Faridkot district.

But even after more than a week, the team has not been able to produce credible evidence against the two accused, the protesting groups say.

A local court in Faridkot has already rejected the police's plea for a lie detector test of the two accused.

Embarrassed by the police investigations so far and facing mounting pressure from the Sikh groups some of whom claim the two brothers to be innocent and falsely implicated in the case, the Badal government has opted to hand over the entire case to the central agency.

In a statement the government said it is keen to have "all possible dimensions and ramifications of these heinous crimes thoroughly probed in an atmosphere of complete trust between the devout masses and the investigating authorities".

"Accordingly, the Chief Minister has given his clearance to transfer all the three cases to the central agency," said the official release.

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Two people were killed in police firing on October 14 in Faridkot's Kotakpura area as police tried to clear a highway blockade by the protesters demanding arrest of those behind incidents of desecration.

The Badal government had constituted a judicial probe into the matter. But the protests continued for almost a fortnight leading to major blockades on national and state highways. The protests subsided only after the removal of Director General of Police Sumedh Singh Saini.

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