a man who “cracked” a sacrilege case and ended up with an egg on his face

In a hastily convened press conference at the Punjab Police Headquarters on October 20, 2015, then the head of the Punjab Bureau of Investigation, Iqbal Preet Singh Sahota, announced that they had resolved the case concerning the desecration of Guru Granth Sahib in the village of Bargari in Faridkot. with the arrest of two people. Sahota had identified the accused as Rupinder Singh and his older brother Jaswinder Singh, both residents of Panjgraian village in Faridkot.

He had indicated that the incident of sacrilege was the work of radical elements installed abroad.

It was a time when the Punjab was in turmoil and then the ruling SAD-BJP government was in dire straits over the sacrilege incident that occurred on October 12 of that year and the police action that followed three days later in Kotkapura, and the Behbal Kalan incident. where two protesters were killed in Behbal Kalan.

Sahota produced excerpts from two transcripts – one between an unknown person in Australia and Rupinder “about a transaction” and the other between Rupinder and Jaswinder which allegedly suggested they were involved in the sacrilege incident. of Bargari where pages of Guru Granth Sahib were found scattered. But, only two days later, Punjab police were left with an egg in their face as “unknown caller” in the transcript, appeared on a radio show in Australia, identified themselves as Sukhjit Singh , a resident of Kotkapura living in Melbourne, and ransacked the police version of “foreign hand” and said he sent Rupinder money for treatment after learning that Rupinder was injured during the protest against Guru’s sacrilege Granth Sahib. Subsequently, as anger grew against the police theory, the brothers had to be released within days.
Rupinder who was injured during the Kotkapura police action and had to be hospitalized at the Higher Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh for treatment, has now alleged that he and Jaswinder were subjected to a “third degree” torture after false involvement in Sahota’s presence. , to whom Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi has entrusted the additional charge of the DGP of Punjab.

Sahota, who led the Special Investigation Team (SIT), was also indicted in his 2018 report by Judge Ranjit Singh (retd) commission of inquiry set up by the Congressional government led by CM Amarinder Singh. The Channi government is in the crosshairs for giving Sahota an additional charge of state police chief. Among other things, Navjot Singh Sidhu, who stepped down from his post as leader of the Punjab Congress on Tuesday, is upset by Sahota’s appointment. On Wednesday, in a video, he vowed to break the system of appointing “corrupt leaders and officers”. Apparently, referring to his dissatisfaction with Sahota’s appointment as DGP, Sidhu did not mince words when he said “six years ago those who tortured small children were charged with justice… Meri rooh kambadi aa (My soul trembles) ”.

Rupinder Singh praised Sidhu for deciding to step down as head of the PPCC even as he condemned the new posts offered to Sahota and senior lawyer APS Deol, who was appointed general counsel. Speaking to the Indian Express by telephone, Rupinder said, “We cannot expect any justice from the person who subjected us to third degree torture when he was ADGP and head of SIT, and from the GA who was then defending DGP Sumedh Singh Saini. ”

Rupinder, now 28, added: “We don’t want any justice from them.”

On Sidhu’s decision to quit, “It’s a very good decision. He was going to have to face the embarrassment after three months as he had visited our home in November 2018 and assured us that justice was done. Otherwise (if he hadn’t quit in protest) we would have done it gherao with Badals and the captain.

Rupinder, who is pursuing a master’s degree in Punjabi at the University of Punjab, said it was good for him to clarify matters. “He brought out the real image in front of people,” Rupinder added.

What happened during the press conference on October 20, 2015?

In the invitation sent to the media, it was mentioned that Sahota would address the conference. But the conference was started by SAD chairman Sukhbir Badal, who was then deputy chief minister and also held the interior portfolio. Sukhbir had gone to police headquarters with the bigwigs of Akali Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Balwinder Singh Bhunder, Sikander Singh Maluka and Virsa Singh Valtoha. He said that the entire Sikh community across the world was furious at the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib and that the Badal family and all the leadership were also very upset by the incident and had a mission to arrest the accused at most. early. He said a plot was “hatched to set Punjab on fire” and “the faces behind the plot have appeared”. Sukhbir did not answer any questions and left, saying Sahota would brief more on the arrests in the Bargari case. Sahota produced transcripts of Rupinder’s conversation with an unknown person in Australia. The conversation was about a transaction and something to be handed over to Rupinder Singh. He also produced another tanscript snippet between Rupinder and his brother Jaswinder where Rupinder is overheard talking to Jaswinder about “Maharaj … ang samaan” (Guru Granth Sahib pages) in possession of an Amna to which Jaswinder asks “which ( ?) those which have been torn or others…. ”. Rupinder, according to the transcript, tells Jaswinder not to speak (over the phone).

What does Rupinder say?
Rupinder said the conversation was about the angs (pages), which were collected after the desecration and were then taken to the Kotkapura protest site. He said that contrary to police claims, Sukhjit, who was his acquaintances, had only sent 45,000 rupees through MoneyGram through a welfare company for the agitators who had been injured.