Sidhu hits out at Amarinder over Kotkapura firing case, again

Chandigarh, May 08 (PTI):
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu once again on Saturday targeted Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, alleging that the state government was “forced” to accept the Punjab and Haryana High Court order in the 2015 Kotkapura firing case due to his “incompetence”.
The Amritsar MLA further said giving six months to a new special investigation team (SIT) for probing the case involving firing at people protesting against the desecration of a religious text will further “extend the delay” in giving justice.
The Congress MLA has been critical of his own government after the Punjab and Haryana High Court quashed a probe report into the firing case last month. He had attacked Amarinder Singh, accusing him of evading responsibility in the case.
Reacting to the criticism, the Punjab CM had called the Congress leader’s outbursts “total indiscipline” and suggesting that he may be leaving for the AAP.
Attacking the CM, who also holds the home portfolio, Sidhu on Saturday tweeted, “Sad !! Due to incompetence of home minister, govt is forced to accept orders of the High Court, which the people of Punjab are standing up against. Giving 6 months to new SIT, extends the delay of Govt’s biggest poll promise, unfortunately up to next elections code of conduct.”
He further said the “injustice caused by deliberate delay is betrayal” of people’s mandate.
“After multiple inquiry commissions, SITs and passage of 6 years, evidence has weakened while accused have gained in wisdom, making their defence stronger due to repetitive investigations on the same matter,” he said in another tweet.
The Punjab government, while acting on the directions of the High Court, had constituted a new three-member special investigation team (SIT), comprising senior IPS officers, and directed it to complete the investigation into the firing incident, preferably in six months. Sidhu’s fresh salvo against the CM came barely a few days after he shared a 2016 video clip of Amarinder Singh, in which he was heard “promising to act against the Badals” in the 2015 police firing incident at Faridkot, if voted to power.
Amarinder Singh had said that the HC judgment had gone beyond its “brief” and it is “not a judicial but a political judgment”. The state cabinet had already announced that it had decided to file an appeal in the Supreme Court with regard to the observations and conclusions of the HC, which were beyond its “remit and even at times beyond the law”. The Congress had in the run-up to the 2017 assembly polls promised to take strict action against perpetrators of the desecration of a religious text and the subsequent police firing in 2015.In a 89-page judgment, the court had ruled that the investigation into Kotkapura police firing incident conducted by the then IPS officer Kunwar Vijay Pratap Singh, who has taken voluntary retirement, was not free from “blemish” and his “personal malice and malafide functioning by totally usurping the powers of SIT was demonstrated on record”.

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