SIT arrests 7 dera men for 2015 ‘bir’ sacrilege

Frees 2 already on bail in same case

SIT arrests 7 dera men for 2015 ‘bir’ sacrilege

The special investigation team (SIT) of Punjab Police, probing three cases relating to the theft and sacrilege of a “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015, today arrested seven Dera Sacha Sauda followers from Kotkapura and Faridkot towns, only to release two of them later.

Tribune News Service

Faridkot, July 4

The special investigation team (SIT) of Punjab Police, probing three cases relating to the theft and sacrilege of a “bir” of Guru Granth Sahib in 2015, today arrested seven Dera Sacha Sauda followers from Kotkapura and Faridkot towns, only to release two of them later.

After the arrest, the SIT, led by Jalandhar range DIG Ranbir Singh Khatra, claimed a major breakthrough in the cases, which had led to massive protests and killing of two protesters in police firing at Behbal Kalan on October 14, 2015.

However, the SIT had to face embarrassment in the Judicial Magistrate’s court where the seven — Sukhjinder Singh, alias Sunny, Shakti Singh, Neela, Ranjit Bhola, Nishan, Baljit and Narinder Sharma — were produced, as the arrest of two of them was found to be illegal and in violation of the Supreme Court directions.

The two, Sukhjinder Singh and Shakti Singh, told the court they had already been granted bail in the case by the Mohali-based CBI court on September 7, 2018, two months after they were arrested by the SIT on July 6, 2018.

While the SIT claimed the accused were re-arrested as fresh offence under Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the IPC was added to the case, the counsel for the accused contended court’s permission was mandatory before re-arresting an accused out on bail in the same case.

The SIT then moved a plea in the court averring it was not aware of the fact that the two were out on bail and agreed to release them. While the two were later released, the court allowed two-day police remand for the five accused.

Red-faced in court

  • In court, two of the seven arrested claimed a Mohali court had already granted them bail in the case in 2018
  • The SIT, probing three cases linked to the sacrilege of ‘bir’, averred it was not aware of the fact and agreed to release them

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