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It was on June 1, 2015 when a bir was stolen from a gurdwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala. On October 12, 2015 an unfortunate incident took place where more than 110 pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found scattered in a Gurdwara near Bargari.
In June 2016, people started protesting following the killing of Gurdev Singh, at his shop, by an anonymous man at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village. Later, it was found that the pages of the Guru Granth Sahib belonged to the same holy book which got stolen from the Gurudwara in Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village in June.
People belonging to the Sikh community and from other religions came together against this wrongdoing and demonstrated at Behbal Kala and Kotkapura. Seeing the massive gathering, police decided to beef up the security there at both the places.
Alas, clashes between the police and protesters took place at both these places, and two Sikh youths were killed in Behbal Kalan Gurjit Singh (27) of Sarawan village and Kala Singh (54) of Niamiwala Khurd village, Faridkot. Two innocent lives were lost in Kotkapura incident in October 2015, as well as many were injured. Police can not be solely blamed for what happened that day.
The sacrilege case and the killing of innocent youths became one of the high-profile cases of the state. The media was also actively following the new developments in the case. Even the special investigations team was appointed to probe the case.
To know more about this incident, read the bargari sacrilege case full report
Bargari Sacrilege Case: SIT Under Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota
The first SIT team was made under the Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota (ADGP IPS). As mentioned in the Hindustan Times article carrying dateline of Jul 27, 2019, 14:50 IST, it was said that on October 21, 2015 SIT team, in a press conference, has claimed that the whole incident of Bargari sacrilege case was Pre Planned and there is involvement of some foreigners as well.
The investigation team has also arrested two brothers in connection with the case – Rupinder Singh and Jaswinder Singh. They both are the residents of Panjgrain village in Faridkot. It is asserted that the brothers were in touch with some foreign-based accomplices who are funding them. The investigation team also claims to track the phone calls of the brothers, and it was found that they were also being funded by foreign-based handlers in Australia and Dubai.
The team has the telephone records of the conversations between Rupinder and the foreign handler and Rupinder and Jaswinder (92********). It was found that Jaswinder did not have his number; instead he was using the number of one of his relatives (98********).
As per a report in the media, the foreign handlers mentioned in the report were NRIs who sent money to Jaswinder and Rupinder to fund the anti-sacrilege protest, which took place in Bargari. This added fuel to the fire. The claims backfired, and it resulted in protests by the Sikh community against the ruling government at that time. Haphazardly, the government had to release both the brothers on November 2, 2015. Further, the case was handed over to the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation).
Continue Reading IGP Umranangal Behbal Kalan Firing Case
Sacrilege Case: SIT Under DIG Ludhiana (Ranbir Singh Khatra)
Once three FIRs related to Bargari sacrilege, was handed over to Chief Bureau of Investigation, the then ruling party made the second SIT under the then DIG, Ludhiana, Ranbir Singh Khatra on November 30, 2015. Under the leadership of Mr. Khatra, the team probed similar incidents related to desecration, which took place in the surrounding areas of Gursar and Malke.
On June 8, Special Investigation team arrested Mohinder Pal Bittu (Dera Sacha Sauda Leader) along with other accomplices Sukhjinder Singh a.k.a. Sunny and Shakti Singh, the team claimed with these arrests they have made a breakthrough in the sacrilege case.
The team managed to arrest Bittu from Palampur in Himachal. The team added that his phone locations, sketches, call details played a significant role in his arrest. He was arrested in the Moga arson case on March 7, 2011 where 200-300 Sirsa Dera followers damaged vehicles by blocking Moga-Kotkapura road. The followers also thrashed the commuters of a PRTC bus and later set the bus on fire. During the probe, the investigation team found that he is also the key conspirator of Bargari sacrilege along with his accomplices.
According to SIT, initially, Bittu had done planning to assassinate Baljeet Singh Daduwal (Sikh radical leader). A meeting related to this was also done with the other two Dera followers, Pardeep Kalair and Harsh Dhuri. The meeting was fixed following the instructions by Rakesh Dirba (personal secretary of the Dera Sacha Sauda chief).
Bittu was the mastermind behind the sacrilege in Bargari, the main motive behind this wrongdoing was to avenge the insult of Harjinder Singh Manjhi (Sikh preacher) of the Dera chief at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala village.
Based on further investigation, it was found that Randeep (another follower of Dera) went inside the gurudwara at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala on the orders of Bittu. Upon entering the gurudwara, he picked the bir and escaped in a car.
Some pages of Guru Granth Sahib were recovered from one of the Dera followers in Daggo Romana village in Faridkot. Posters were also put at Burj Jawahar Singh Wala and Bargari. The main motive of these posters was to threaten the Sikh community about cutting and scattering the angs of their living god. The mastermind behind this wrongdoing was Bittu.
When the SIT got the remand of Bittu, he confessed before the judicial magistrate Moga, under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that he was the mastermind behind the heinous act of sacrilege. Since CBI was still investigating the case, the SIT, after claiming that they have arrested the culprits, submitted the final report to the central agency.
Bargari Sacrilege Probe: CBI Took the Charge
The Central Bureau of Investigation conducted the third probe. But strangely, the central agency gave the clean chit to the Dera Sacha Sauda followers, Shakti, Bittu, and Sunny, in the Bargari sacrilege case 2015.
CBI submitted their closure report in the Special CBI court in Mohali. As per the report, the agency was not able to find any evidence that affirms them as accused. CBI ruled out every single claim made by the SIT in their report; this raised questions on the investigation done by the Khatra-led team. They also claimed that no one saw the accused stealing the bir from the Burj Jawahar Singh Wala gurdwara.
The claim made by the SIT that they have recovered an Alto car that was used to transport the stolen bir also didn’t make much impact in the investigation conducted by CBI. The car (second-hand) was purchased in the name of Ravinder Singh (Shakti’s brother) on August 8, 2016. The car had Faridkot registration, and it was registered on October 4, 2016. Therefore, the report submitted by CBI claimed that Shakti could not use the car to transport the stolen bir. CBI also asserted the Tata Indigo car, which the SIT claimed was used by Mohinder Pal Bittu transport the stolen bir was sold to the son of Bittu in January 2017.
CBI report also said that the fingerprints, polygraph test, and the voice samples also didn’t prove the involvement of Bittu along with his accomplices in the case. The layered voice analysis received on September 9, 2018, fell flat in proving Bittu as the main accused. CBI even went ahead and investigated the data of mobile towers at Bargari and Burj Jawahar Singh Wala, unfortunately, they were not able to get any lead.
Continue Reading Umranangal Case Twist and Turns
Kunwar Vijay Pratap to Head SIT Probing Bargari Firing Incident
Following a resolution passed by Punjab assembly that they will withdraw the decision of handing over the investigation into the police action on the protesters in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura from Central Bureau of Investigation, Capt Amarinder Singh also made another SIT led by ADGP Prabodh Kumar (now DGP) to investigate these cases.
This SIT comprised of some of the best police officers including – IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, PPS officer Bhupinder Singh, IG Arun Pal Singh, and Kapurthala SSP Satinder Pal Singh. Later IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh on 4th April 2021 resign from their post.
IG Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh filed a chargesheet in Faridkot court alleging that the whole case was preplanned, and he also blamed that it is the handiwork of one of the top SAD/BJP leaders, Sirsa-based Sacha Sauda, and Sumedh Singh Saini. The transfer of Harpreet Dhillon (the then state intelligence chief) is also linked to the chargesheet, and it was asserted that it was a preplanned conspiracy.
Harpreet Dhillon, a sincere and hardworking officer in Intelligence Wing, became a victim of a conspiracy and got transferred as ADGP intelligence on October 10, 2015. He was replaced by a much junior officer of DIG rank, RK Jaiswal.
This is where the question arose when there were already three officers ranked at DGP/ADGP rank who were both eligible and available for the posting, then why Dhillon was transferred.
Main Accused in Bargari Sacrilege Case Killed in Jail
Even though things went in favor of Mohinder Pal Singh Bittu in the probe, he was still put behind bars in the Moga arson case on March 7, 2011. But, Bittu, main accused in Bargari sacrilege case, had an altercation with two other inmates – Gursewak Singh and Maninder Singh.
The fight got ugly, and the inmates attacked Bittu with rods at around 5:45 pm. He was rushed to the hospital, but he was declared brought dead by the doctors.
In the whole case, the main accused was apprehended along with other accused. Different investigating authorities were made, but at the end of the day, the main accused gets killed. In this high-profile case, we get to see high-voltage drama, but at the end of the day, the whole case has been politicized and justice is still awaited.
Continue Reading Trial Court closes Kotkapura Firing Case As Charges
Contradict in Teams Probing Granth Sahib Desecration Controversy
The four probing teams are only blaming each other, and even they are not on the common platform, so how can we expect justice to take place. We have read in the Sahota’s SIT that it was Bittu who carried out the sacrilege.
Releasing Bittu on bail was a wrong move, especially when he confessed in front of the judicial magistrate under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
If an accused gets killed in the police custody, then this is a security lapse that should not have happened. Moreover, if the main accused gets killed, how can you expect to unearth the actual truth behind the case. Once they have arrested Bittu, his security should have been the top priority of the police, but now he is long gone. Paramraj Singh Umranangal and his team were following the orders of the magistrate; therefore, it is irrational to consider him as the main accused.
People have already waited for quite so long, and now the verdict should come as soon as possible.