Ready to face arrest, says Badal
With the top leaders of the Congress government in Punjab, including Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, saying recently that "bigger names" could emerge in the investigation being conducted into the sacrilege cases and the police firing incidents of 2015, former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal said on Thursday that he has offered himself for arrest.
Badal (91) told media here that he called up Punjab Director General of Police (DGP) Dinkar Gupta on Thursday and offered that he was available in Chandigarh and the Punjab Police special investigation team (SIT), which is looking into sacrilege cases and the police firing incidents of 2015 in Behbal Kalan and Kotkapura, could arrest him.
"I have told the DGP that I have come to Chandigarh and they could arrest me. I have brought my things (clothes) with me. They should stop this drama and come and arrest me. The DGPO can just call me and I will come to offer arrest in any police station," Badal said.
"The Chief Minister (Amarinder Singh) has made up his mind to arrest me and he and his cabinet ministers are making statements daily in this regard. I will be happy if my last breath is in Amarinder's prison," Badal, who has been chief minister of Punjab five times, said.
He said Punjab Police will do whatever Amarinder tells them and that the Justice Ranjit Singh (retired) Commission and the SIT were just a "drama".
Badal was also questioned by the SIT on November 16, 2018. Sukhbir Badal was also questioned by the SIT. Alleging that things were being done for political vendetta, Badal said that Amarinder had earlier also booked him (Badal), his wife and his son, Sukhbir Badal (president of the Shiromani Akali Dal) in false cases of corruption and put them behind bars in 2002.
The SIT has already arrested two senior police officers in connection with the firing incidents. Inspector General (IG) of Police Parampal Singh Umaranangal and former Moga Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Charanjit Sharma have been arrested by the SIT.
The IGP was arrested from Chandigarh on Monday in connection with the Behbal Kalan firing in the Faridkot district in October 2015 in which two persons were killed and several others were injured.
Sharma and three other accused police officers in the case were booked for murder and attempt to murder following recommendations by the Justice (Retd.) Ranjit Singh Commission of Inquiry.
The SIT is investigating the reasons behind the firing on Sikh protesters, agitating against sacrilege cases of Guru Granth Sahib, during the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP regime (2007-2017).
Punjab was brought to a standstill in October 2015 with radical Sikhs and others blocking highways and roads for days.-IANS