Business Today
Amarinder says Badal 'indulging in theatrics' over sacrilege cases

Chandigarh, Feb 22 (PTI) Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh Friday termed Akali stalwart Parkash Singh Badal's challenge to "put him in jail" over the 2015 sacrilege cases as a "piece of drama", saying the former CM was indulging in theatrics after finding himself cornered. "Why is he (Badal) so rattled if he has nothing to hide," Amarinder asked, claiming that the former chief minister was in the habit of "indulging in theatrics", especially when faced with an "uncomfortable" situation. Reacting to the chief minister's address in the Punjab Assembly wherein he vowed to punish those guilty of the "horrendous" 2015 sacrilege incidents in the state, Badal had Thursday claimed that his successor's only aim was to put him behind bars. "I am prepared to go to jail as their (state government) only aim is to arrest me... I am not afraid of being arrested," the five-time chief minister had told media here. Pointing out that he had never mentioned Badal, or anyone else for that matter, in connection with the incidents of police firing on anti-sacrilege protesters at Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura in 2015, Amarinder Friday wondered if Badal's reaction was a case of a guilty conscience rising to the fore. Rejecting the Akali patron's allegation of a political witch-hunt by his government, Amarinder said such "shameful and petty tactics" were the domain of the Akalis, and the Congress leadership had never believed in indulging in such acts. He reiterated his stand that he would not engage in political vendetta, and would allow the law to take its own course. On February 18, an SIT probing the Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura incidents, had arrested Inspector General Paramraj Singh Umranangal on the basis of evidence that he was in command and the procedure adopted to open fire was not correct. Two persons were killed in the police firing in Behbal Kalan of Faridkot district. The SIT set up to probe the case had last month arrested former Moga district police chief SSP Charanjit Singh Sharma, who led a police party that allegedly opened fire at the anti-sacrilege protesters. Sharma's arrest was the first in the case after the SIT was formed last year after his name was added along with other police officers in an FIR registered at the Baja Khana police station in Faridkot for murder and attempt to murder. Their names were added on the recommendations of the Ranjit Singh commission report. PTI CHS VSD IJT

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